Michael Collins

Negatives of Soul


The school of herring

feeding near the dock

whorl around and

through one another,

weaving what would be

invisible tapestries

if they had a purpose

            beyond being, a cloud

of mouths and fins,

silvering the overcast

water, dancing, delighting

in succor I cannot see,

every one the ground

and figure, each one

the movement,

only the circling,

inhumanly patient, never

waiting for the mortal

eye that sees them

in this vision, no longer

mine; it exists

            only insubstantially

only within them, only

in this instant, desperate

to become this.

Michael Collins’ poems have received Pushcart Prize nominations and appeared in more than 40 journals and magazines, including Grist, Kenning Journal, Pank, and Smartish Pace. His first chapbook, How to Sing when People Cut off your Head and Leave it Floating in the Water, won the Exact Change Press Chapbook Contest in 2014. A full-length collection, Psalmandala, was published later that year. Another chapbook, Harbor Mandala, was published this year. Visit http://www.notthatmichaelcollins.com/ for more.



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