Fritz Ward

from Born [Be Seed or Tree]

Be seed or tree
or simply bored.

Be the wood
or the whaling ship.

We call her Omen
then Isla

then Umlaut
then Moonshine

then Glasgow
then Junebug

then Lady
of Our Exit Wounds.

Our brim
and our bone.

Oh just bring her
home. We need

her needs
to wreck us.


from Born [I hold her body]

I hold her body
in the fable of my arms
and fail

            to capture

the spill of light,
             the fingers,
to the mouth,
                 the hunger that snarls
                                        and expands.

It’s not the night I dread,
but the nights nested
                                      inside us—
                                 how they come
one after another,
             fuses oozing,
                         wet tusks and loved holes—




Fritz Ward is the author of Tsunami Diorama (The Word Works, 2017) and the chapbook Doppelganged (Blue Hour Press, 2011). The recipient of the Cecil Hemley Memorial Prize from the Poetry Society of America, his poetry has appeared in American Poetry Review, Best New Poets, The Adroit Journal, Gulf Coast, and elsewhere. He works at Swarthmore College and lives just outside of Philadelphia.