A Poem by Adam Day

Adam Day

Adam Day

Adam Day is the author of Left-Handed Wolf (LSU Press, 2020), and of Model of a City in Civil War (Sarabande Books), and the recipient of a Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowship for Badger, Apocrypha, and of a PEN America Literary Award. He publishes the literary journal, Action Spectacle.


The State

          After Mark Bibbins
Sirens spiral away
down the block

carried in smoke
beneath the sea

of treetops, a car
stopped to search

for whatever
the police search for.

Wind any creature
tight enough

pull any creature
loose enough

and it does
what it feels

it has to do.
A generation

fully accustomed
to being struck down,

a treatise on brevity.
All you have to do

to see it is step out
onto the street;

elegy is a site
not of loss

but opposition.
I push death around

trying to make it say
what I want it to say

but the mouth opens
and branches emerge.

I don’t know what
any of this

prepares us for.
I don’t know

how anything escapes




The assaulted,
hemmed in

among lungwort
and drone glow

like a plover
inside a crocodiles mouth,

blinking the clouds
from its eyes,

sounding out names,
eating its own light

against a body
that can’t do any more.