The American Journal of Poetry
"Strong Rx Medicine"®


Mark Yakich

A Prayer of Binding and Loosening


I say, I have driven a station wagon
Through sheets of rain in bed alone.

Neither an early nor a late bloomer, having
Never met the qualifications of a flower,

I admit, for a very long time I found
Certain genitals disinteresting.

On telling myself that my life was no more
Fragile than anyone else’s, I began to feel

My life more fragile. Once a floor model,
The mattress on my bed propels too much

Of what I do or do not do. For
I know,
I will not witness my own funeral,

But I shall still have to pay for it.
Thusly, I look up at the sky more

Through windows than I do
When I’m right under the sky.



Mark Yakich

Hue and Cry


What’s in a life?

What’s the point of history?

What in the world do you want?

If tomorrow were already gone?

What does the arc of your life resemble?
          I’ve forgotten.

A rainbow?
          No, I’d have held on to that.

A bridge?
          No, I’d have jumped.

A willow leaf floating on the surface of a river?
          That’s it.

Which—the leaf or the river?

          And on and of too.




MARK YAKICH's most recent books are Poetry: A Survivor's Guide (Bloomsbury 2015) and The Dangerous Book of Poetry for Planes (Eyewear 2017). He lives in  New Orleans.



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