Joshua Wilkerson

a copybook


the reason I forgot to call you—

the summer is a kaleidoscope


grinding care into the whole sky

clear and scattered as a mirror.


on a broad blue page, a will

to write widening


plagiarized from the dirt, garlic,

cedar and Off. clouds


feign enjoyment

of diminished roles. study


the summer as it dilates each hour—

plot folding back on the horizon,


this time with feeling— a lollipop

picked up, dirt wiped off,


dropped again. living tends

away from me—I can’t find


anywhere comfortable to sit.

a migration of years


toward the managed outcome—

sparklers at dusk. this love


beading the night

with wishes: tubeways,


grids of light without fixtures

where obscenities fade: yellow-


jacket, ice cubes, carpet of grass

without the wink.


the sun wavers before my dad’s

mosquito fogger.


I slip out

between seconds, sniff my reading debt.


blow up my town—

take some tea in the only present—


all the bitter drafts of this year

just for this clean solar hum.



attempted cities

            after constant


new babylon gathers like a system

of winds, a flutter of memories, leaves,

febrile spurts of futures, turquoise

spores, a silence across landscapes


of modular chrome our constellations

of limbs reconfigure, in the unplanned

twister party of our fickleness


almost brushing the unknown version

from which we’ll be able to pray

down nomad blueprints of hallways

to know that room poppi nodded toward


when his eyes lit up when he saw me

in his oxygen-starved brain and

he mumbled coordinates without name


for a pocket between monads

where dark birds rustle

without name, crying out to be found

in our aimlessness


not afterlives but between them, a pocket of juice

bursting between our mornings, a riot of laundry

orange-streaked as a morning breeze


flickers through the branches of every future

and may our city prolong that breeze

holding the fantasy of singular purpose together

as words gathering, tickling the errors of the page