Andy Stallings

The least we can 
give we imagine
wanting only
to explode the
vast activity of
being – parcel
shifted from
hand to hand 
hydraulic action
lilting curve
of a road – 
the least & the
most we
can give is
the same
irritant back
that we've been
given simply
to return
that which has
installed its
spine within
us – spectral
rainbow of
the sleeping
child's briefly
opened eyes night
tilting suddenly
to designate 
the planet – 
what does it
mean to select
appropriate powder
to swallow a fuse
what does it
mean to ripen
around a seed
therein is not
so much space
as could hold
two hands to
their movement
but enough for
a wire & the
silence besides
of a lullaby
my eye
to the invisible
bloomed too far
down its lash
too early though 
sufficiently to 
shatter my
roster of
inoculations &
of it a brittle
structure such as
bone arose
melancholy like
an anchor through
the veneer of salt
a childhood's
conversation with
a father is
opaque threshold
of knife-twists
the self & its
resounding into
never trebling
the clavicle &
the thigh but
my skin is
not right my
skin is not
right & 
will never 
deliver me 
is the edifice
of language &
to blow it all up
is only as dark
& as bright
as what fractures
around the charge


Andy Stallings lives in New Orleans with Melissa Dickey and their three children. His first book, To the Heart of the World, will be out in the fall with Rescue Press.