For All Poems After Basho by Erin J. Mullikin and David Wojciechowski




I liked this more when I forgot it was after Basho,
but the moon was only a half-moon; it was huge.

I’m going to milk this wording for all it’s worth.
Not the wording, I meant the experience, but in writing.

The sun comes through the window
like a knife and you know it does.

There’s no way to tell if we’ve been living anywhere else
but in this one life, and that’s the trouble with telling.

You’re on a train that’s moving but east and west, and the direction
you think you’re going no longer matters.

There is only one way into spring and that’s through some other time.

I’m thinking I liked this more when I knew I was alone,
when I felt all skeleton-clear.

A shadow is cast but it moves too much to follow—moves between springs. Moves between slow throats, the atmosphere of birthdays,

the old and awkward ways in which breath escapes
and the moon feels (steals) it and fills with it. Expands.


Erin J. Mullikin is the author of the chapbook, Strategies for the Bromidic (dancing girl press). Her poems, short fiction, and book reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in magazines such as elsewhere, Coldfront, Spork, and inter | rupture. She is the editor-in-chief for Salt Hill Journal and a founding editor for the online poetry journal, NightBlock, and the small literary press, Midnight City Books.

David Wojciechowski lives and dies in Syracuse, New York where he is a founding editor of Midnight City Books and NightBlock. His poems have appeared in Bateau, Better, iO, and Meridian among other places.