David James’ fourth and fifth books, A GEM OF TRUTH and NAIL YOURSELF INTO BLISS, were published in 2019. MY TORN DANCE CARD was a finalist in the 2017 Book Excellence Awards; his second full-length book, SHE DANCES LIKE MUSSOLINI, won the 2010 Next Generation Indie book award for poetry. He has published six chapbooks and has had more than thirty of his one-act plays produced in the U.S. and Ireland. He teaches writing at Oakland Community College.
I SUPPOSE THE CELLS ARE SPLITTING
INTO SOMETHING WE CANNOT KNOW.
(after a last line of a poem by Jack Ridl)
into something else, which breaks again—
a wristwatch into a messy divorce;
a phone call into a drunken binge, twenty stitches,
and a lost wallet; a smile into a yes;
some old incense into a baby girl, born prematurely, five pounds,
too small to take home yet.
Every cell down here melts and decays and grows
into that cardinal, that flag, that broken tree limb, this snow piled up
above the mailbox, that lovely inch of skin on the woman’s back
that no one has ever kissed,