I Say I Don’t Know

David Rivard
| poetry


I say I
don’t know what’s
wrong with me,
but of course
I do. Like buttercups
in a meadow, I think:
because of course
I am
stuck in myself. Ten thousand words
on the tip of my tongue,
ten thousand lives
leaning against the lightning-lit
midnight fence post.
The wood charred. Struck. Smoking.
Electricity licks the soles
of our feet even now, the earth loves us
even when we can’t
love ourselves.
You all,
all of you
say you don’t know
what’s wrong
with you, but you do,
you have to.

David Rivard’s most recent book, Standoff, won the 2017 PEN/New England Award and was published by Graywolf. He teaches in the MFA in Writing Program at the University of New Hampshire.

All Hallows
from The House Barely, Nakedly, Burningly