Illustrating the illustrators
When we wrote the name that we were told
was ours, the name that contained all
we would be given and all that would be lost,
there was a pleasure in the small, exact
movements of our hands, the pencil a machine,
worshipped, and that was where it began.
We said Let us be children together,
and we drew our lives before the body.
We drew the coal-quay whores with wooden legs,
the tow-horses asleep against the fog. Even dusk
flooded a whole new darkness, a sympathetic ink.
We said If death is like this then give us more.
By Joshua Poteat
Recipient of the 2015 Carole Weinstein Poetry Prize
Reprinted by permission of VQR/University of Georgia Press
from Illustrating the Machine That Makes the World by Joshua Poteat.
Copyright © 2009 by Joshua Poteat.