Poem 6 ± June 10, 2015

Joan Larkin
In Your Side-Railed Bed, Faces

brushed late nights on paper,
mouth-knots, dark inkwash eyes

staring into the abyss.
World taped to the wall

of your next-to-last room.
After they moved you, no

more making. Your face swollen
and no sign you saw me

wearing the fright mask.
Grief, or my face under it.

Joan_LarkinJoan Larkin’s most recent collection is Blue Hanuman (Hanging Loose Press, 2014). Her book My Body: New and Selected Poems (Hanging Loose Press, 2007) received the Publishing Triangle’s 2008 Audre Lorde Award for Lesbian Poetry. Larkin is the Grace Hazard Conkling Writer in Residence at Smith College. Recent honors include the Poetry Society of America’s Shelley Memorial Award and the Academy of American Poets Fellowship.

This poem originally appeared in the collection Blue Hanuman (Hanging Loose Press, 2014).