Vital Signs – a poem by Will Cordeiro

Vital Signs

Each raindrop, a miniature
part of the nona stop flood

of stars. & every wound
was like an eyelash shivering—

our knowledge sadder
for its slow arriving. All history

is alive and yet historical: a clattered drawer
of knives which fall. Bloodstream,

plastic & a scattered gunk that clogs
the riverside. Fog-light like an oracle.

A torrent which casts junk aside.
A dry lake’s rot, as each monsoon

soon leaves its watermark. Nightlong
along the swollen sodden banks

through bright insistent dark’s
swift counter-spew of flotsam

nerve-springs sparing with
their shards & gloss, trash

going by, all rankled, ruin-tossed,
a circumfluent panic of the cross-

winds in their erasure-shine-and-gash.
A single dove flew off

& became
the moon.


Will Cordeiro has work appearing or forthcoming in Best New Poets, Copper Nickel, DIAGRAM, Fourteen Hills, Nashville Review, Poetry Northwest, Salamander, Sycamore Review, The Threepenny Review, Zone 3, and elsewhere. He has two chapbooks: “Never-never” (White Knuckle, 2017) and “Opinions and Reveries of Mr. Figure” (RDP, 2016). He is grateful for a grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, a scholarship from Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and a Truman Capote Writer’s Fellowship, as well as residencies from ART 342, Blue Mountain Center, Ora Lerman Trust, Petrified Forest National Park, and Risley Residential College. He received his MFA and Ph.D. from Cornell University. He lives in Flagstaff, where he is a faculty member in the Honors College at Northern Arizona University.

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