A Poem by Michael Schmeltzer

Michael Schmeltzer

Michael Schmeltzer

Michael Schmeltzer was born in Japan and eventually moved to the US. His most current book (co-authored with Meghan McClure) is “A Single Throat Opens,” a collective memoir and lyric exploration of addiction. His full-length poetry debut “Blood Song” was a Washington State Book Award Finalist in Poetry. His writing has been published in various journals such as Black Warrior Review,Water~Stone Review, and Split Lip Magazine, among others. Schmeltzer serves as President of Floating Bridge Press and is the co-founder of One Great Things, a micro-length, macro-lensed review site.

A Sharpness of Axes

I am soft. What of it? Like a blanket
that leaves the toes uncovered

I am what you might
consider not enough.

What weapon can be made of me?
I once was used to smother

a fire
but only a wick-sized one.

Oh sure, I have blazing ambitions.
I have the need to be on bodies

and useful. Better yet,
find me folded

on top of a stack of blankets.
I am tired

of people lately,
their mouths like two-way mirrors

and nothing of what they say
visible. Did you hear

the one about the tree
that walked steadfast into

a sharpness of axes?
This isn’t a joke

but before chopping it down
the blades

they all laughed.