The American Journal of Poetry
"Strong Rx Medicine"®


Mark Jarman

Cause Me To Hear


“Cause me to hear
thy lovingkindness
in the morning,”
in my bedfellow’s voice,

in bird whistle, downpour,
in stirring and yawning,
under the overpass,
near the air force base,

in the classic ring tones
rippling the quiet
in the flood and rubble zones
where bodies still breathe,

as your lovingkindness
in the morning in the night
answers the calling
of the rescue team.

Psalm 143


Mark Jarman

Chemo Wrenched her Aching Back


Chemo wrenched her aching back,
robbed her sense of smell.
She can’t get comfortable,
eat well.

Except for pomegranate juice,
one thing she can taste.
She lives on it. If she could
right now she’d drink a glass.

X-ray will tell her what she knows.
Spine’s a cracked whip.
After this
she’ll have more than a sip

of pomegranate juice
from those tangy purple capsules.
And one day she’ll hang up
her cane, on hell.




MARK JARMAN's most recent collection of poetry is Bone Fires:  New and Selected Poems (Sarabande Books, 2011).  Sarabande Books will publish his next collection, The Heronry, in January, 2017.  He is Centennial Professor of English at Vanderbilt University.



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