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Physiography

BY LEV CRAIG
 

Harvard University, '16
2015 Adroit Prize for Poetry: Editors List

XVIII.
            The pines uprooted in late June.
Grass melting into flame, the sky taut white,
            turn here, locate your mouth, its heat.

IV.
And so I too will be released.
            I mark the knowing land, the dead
land, moving outsplit, forking, burst, I cage,

            I move, I sing

XVI.
                                    these coal tracked hills. The bees
are born with wild sugar in their throat.
            I too am wet with mercy like

the bees.

LXII.
               Turned west and, as I am, impelled
            to cut this edgeless plot of light.
Remarkable, this harbor, its sublun-

            ary stretch, watch the governed light
appear frail thirsty body (mine) where it
            like powder tilts to meet a flame

IX.
and lights! the cattails hot in summer where
            the silence moves like silk. Catch here
the whistle of the stars at rest. Not mine

            this backbone that the water holds in arc.
Not mine this gathered breath, not mine
            this body I exhort to be unkept,

unclayed, unwedded to this land,
            its nerves exposed beneath the soil like ink.

II.
And at the birth of the world,
            there was this breath
in my throat. There was this breath.



Lev Craig was born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina, and currently lives in Boston, Massachusetts. Their recent work has appeared in Architrave and Glitterwolf, among others. They graduated from Interlochen Arts Academy in Interlochen, Michigan, as a classical guitar major, and are a junior at Harvard University, where they study English.