First Week

You were born in

Wisconsin. I enter your

apartment wearing the old

rehabilitative gesture. How

quickly will this moment,

as its own chore, diminish

into another stereotyped

surprise? Telling you

is not an edge. The first

impulse of what veers

in and out is hesitation.

I would love some water.

If it’s always like this

I would never take my

sweater off, but we both

know tomorrow’s noon

will faithfully reproduce

every ambiguity it allegedly

resolves. (Or were the traces

dispositive?) Gaunt is the color

of every new morning –  

what lapse convinced you

otherwise? Light and orange

rinds osculate along

the hesitation. Hands enter

dusk, fabulously blank, but

you think morning causes

sad feelings. Miracles

quickly become their own

conclusion. The goal is its

own shape. Peel here, it says.

Engram Wilkinson's work has recently appeared in Cordite Poetry Review, Figure 1, Black Sun Lit, LIT, and The Offing. Born and raised in central Alabama, he lives in San Francisco where he studies law.