In order that I shall last as long as I can

I, boiler of beans, shiner of shoes,
sitter in chairs,

because I lived one sort of life before I knew the secret
to sawing a lady in half

and a different life after,
refuse to read anything about running
while running, lest the miracle of running

diminish.
That’s what happened when I read about living.

Concocting a double-blind study
to test for evidence of love agents
smaller than pheromones,

thinking about the science of love,
which I accidentally read about yesterday,

or thinking about anything intently
while running
leads to tripping,

having to hold out hands
as I’m baptized by ground.

If a bloody blossom
knocks on your door seeking
bandages and antiseptic, it hopes
you have neither.

What it wants you to offer instead
is some water and a vase

to be pretty
and die in.

Front page image by comedy_nose.

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Matt Mauch

About the Author

Matt Mauch is the author of Prayer Book (Lowbrow Press), the chapbook The Brilliance of the Sparrow (Mondo Bummer), and If You're Lucky Is a Theory of Mine (Trio House Press). He hosts the annual Great Twin Cities Poetry Read, and also the Maeve’s Sessions readings, and edits the anthology Poetry City, USA , an annual collection of poetry and prose on poetry. A 2011 recipient of Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant, his poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Salt Hill, H_NGM_N, DIAGRAM, Willow Springs, The Los Angeles Review, South Dakota Review, Sonora Review, Water~Stone Review, ILK, NOÖ Journal, InDigest, and Spinning Jenny, and on the Poetry Daily and Verse Daily websites. Mauch teaches creative writing at Normandale Community College, and lives in Minneapolis.
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