Michael Robins


The shy distance between two points
is distance yet, envious, blue veins

where a needle takes the inner arm
to the pumping traction of the heart.

Hair grown around the watering hole,
I take turns with lemons, the scissor.

Our picnics consist of ultimatums:
I support the cause, I'm unimproved,

the legs of insects are spoils closed
in the splayed battlefield of the palm.

There's adequate water for the journey,
stainless thimbles to fill at the pump.





The early drafts of this poem are alarmingly similar to the version here—it was a productive, if miserable, summer. The title is a variation of a quote that appeared in the Reetika Vazirani profile from Poets & Writers, an issue I'd saved for one reason or another, and later read and reread after her death, as if searching for a clue.