40 YEARS OF CUTBANK: “Demolition of the Sky” by A.J. Collins










From CutBank 69

Demolition of the Sky

We’ll never run out of boxes for this bunch of blue. From the west comes the ring of an egg

snapped on the edge of a porcelain bowl. Fissures craze above the Pacific, but the waves

tongue along, up from the ocean’s invisible floor we mapped with our echoes. We read the almanac

and harvest early, worrying about the questions our children don’t ask. There’s no such thing

as a shy god. We tear down the night’s bestiary to keep our lovers from being eaten. When we wake

to find their side of the bed huge and ghostly, smelling of them—tomato stems and gin—

we roll onto it, pressing from the absolute cotton the wide specks of each desertion, the wilderness

another person’s silence demands we expand. ____________________________________

A.J. Collins is currently at work on a book of poems based around the events of the “Black Flag Riots” a revolt that took place at the initial diamond diggings located at what is now Kimberly, South Africa. His work is graciously supported by a Schaeffer Fellowship from the International Institute for Modern Letters, and is published in Spoon River Poetry Review, Notre Dame Review, Conduit, and elsewhere.