All My Sins Rising and Other Uncertainties,
After Reading Furious Cooking

All my sins rise like redwing blackbirds of summer
into the certainty of trees – of maple & cherry

& birch – the wind, a Dorian mode among the leaves’
solitude of thirst. Each branch, a lonely voice for rain,

and there’s been none. The sun will grow fat and purple
the fields again, but what can I say of right or wrong.

And that’s not a question. I’ve locked myself in a room,
watching Black Narcissus over and over – until I feel

the wind or the rain, until I feel the eyes – always
the eyes, determining all truth that’s in the body,

my body, like a fierce star that has no name or number,
unmapped, but burns back the darkness all the same.

What we know doesn’t matter, what we do not know
doesn’t matter. Silence is still silence, and the brick

of my house is eaten away by time in the fester of too many
seasons to count. The fox den at the top of the hill is there

under honeysuckle, walnut leaves, and fence wire,
though the foxes have been gone for years. A congress

of lies comes and goes, singers blurt out their words
to dumb ears, plaids first widen, then shrink – then

swell again, disappear. The pages of a story, so says Aristotle,
will show a beginning, a middle, and an end, though

Godard argues with the order, and we, flicker-shadowed
in our seats, don’t know the difference. All my sins

rise. Think of them as gifts, as ointment for wounds,
as breath that breaks the pond’s surface. What I

would miss most is easy. What is it you most crave?
I’d always feared love’s boldness, but not this moment.

I wear my age like a bruised apple –
the hornet, drunk on the last of my sweetness.

Sam Rasnake, at times, believes he’s a highway in a Bishop poem or a character in a Buńuel film, but occasionally he writes, and his works have appeared in journals such as MiPOesias, Pebble Lake Review, Literal Latté, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Ecotone: Reimagining Place, and From East to West, as well as in the Best of the Web 2009 anthology (Dzanc Books) and the Blue Velvet anthology (The Private Press). The author of one chapbook, Religions of the Blood (Pudding House), and one collection, Necessary Motions (Sow's Ear Press), he edits Blue Fifth Review, an online poetry journal. (

Boxcar Poetry Review - ISSN 1931-1761