about the author

Bruce Bond is the author of twenty-two books including, most recently, Immanent Distance: Poetry and the Metaphysics of the Near at Hand (U of MI, 2015), Black Anthem (Tampa Review Prize, U of Tampa, 2016), Gold Bee (Helen C. Smith Award, Crab Orchard Award, Southern Illinois University Press, 2016), Sacrum (Four Way Books, 2017), Blackout Starlight: New and Selected Poems 1997-2015 (E. Phillabaum Award, LSU, 2017), Rise and Fall of the Lesser Sun Gods (Elixir Book Prize, Elixir Press, 2018), Dear Reader (Free Verse Editions, 2018), and Frankenstein’s Children (Lost Horse Press, 2018). Presently he is a Regents Professor of English at University of North Texas.

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One Poem 

Bruce Bond

Paper Ship

My friend writes to say she is looking
in the mirror, naked, thinking of a man

who died, a writer she knew by word alone
and loved, and I know she is not naked

as she writes, and the mirror no mirror
but a casting pool the body enters

without a ripple, as if no flesh at all.
I too am floating out a paper ship

in which I have written my gratitude
to those it never reaches, but I wonder.

The naked body keeps slipping around
in the glass, and who would not be there

when it leaves us like a last train home
or turns its face to what we cannot see.

Is there, my friend, something in the brittle
flowers of words left behind that feels

exchanged, knowing no more will follow.
The one you loved, do you love him still.

Does it feel like betrayal. Saying so.
What broken door between you opens and closes

in the wind. What mirror turns to water.
Beyond the naked wonder, what passes through.

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