Curtis Bauer


Do not look for ink, a wild iris, book

jacket or fish, but the space between

button holes on a worn shirt,


the waitress, her fingers touching

your fingers, her veins,

her dress, your eyes, the plate.


Think of the words you recited, their order

on that crisp morning they rose

like flame burning dry leaves; they waited


like breath hanging in front of your closed mouth

the morning of the first frost, the morning

your boots shattered the grass, you breathed


a cloud that lingered, expanded, faded.

Think of it as a kettle’s voice. Think of it

as the window crack sealed with tape.



“Blue” is from Fence Line (BkMk Press 2004)