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No Doubt Perhaps, by Miranda Mellis


I don’t ask experts
I take a different route

along a stream back up to the main road and from there take a bus

a cult is ordinary around here
clear-cuts are not new either

the remnant justice of an old tree


You have to stand back, at a distance equal to the bottom that threatens


my soul hasn’t moved as it laughs
moves forward, a blade
I close the entrance to my constant double


I was digging out a ticket to win the lottery
of political stupidity that must be chewed
because old no body
I don’t know how to live through or understand it


fatten space in my cupped hand
unfurl the spiral sod, earthy mat with silver roots
a scattered gravel, raking, digging, arranging, leafy bivouacs later, write on a chalkboard and think out loud


wear an apron and a corkscrew as they ate they grew
then it was unclear what else I could do


One day he said loudly, there are people whose main job is just to go around looking for people to fire


For years, he prepared his history but they persecuted it

Then let nothing be art, too, was her reply


Under the ancient personages’ grave


I feel I am becoming a price of admission
the ticket itself, to having lived
all the particles of what seemed your person


you, a starless garden


I welcome the earth, the mind of soil opaque boiling vents
the termite lignin, down across the sea.

cape of moss and lichen of eagles
chatty leaves, like little windows and mirrors living tissue
a tiny, wooden piano

crumpled skin around its eyes
carefully carved thoughts, shapes visible and the things of


Let alone the rain
so tired of being misconstrued


he wasn’t too upset to read though the sun failed to rise

in his small rowboat
He lost his oars in the dark; he paddled with his hands, masts flickered ever smaller the wind pushed him back with litanies—


Although sometimes can never be sure, in any case, what good is that


I was listening, and I had things to say about this art which
by their pain is dispelled


His voice clacked like a rake
Her open plain, no effect at all
The loving child of neutral ground lay motionlessness and pondering


melding into thickets curl up into my body

the more I try to fish, the further away you swim


I would leave the sad ground

Big leafy hands


Hi, it’s me!


It was exalting to hear that voice


cupping his ears lying flat stooping to rock to scrub a plaque
piles of housewares and clothes a bulging desolate box


plain intelligence joy overtakes it

angry discontentment carefully repaired


a replacement of the opposite to take your body back


  • Miranda Mellis is the author of Demystifications (forthcoming), The Revisionist, None of This Is Real, The Spokes, The Quarry, and The Instead, a book-length correspondence with Emily Abendroth with an index by Katie Aymar. She was a founding editor of The Encyclopedia Project with Tisa Bryant and Kate Schatz. She teaches at Evergreen State College and lives in the woods in Olympia.

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