Skip to main content

A poem from George Kalamaras

Manifest Destiny
by George Kalamaras

Feel free to induce me. Press your breath against my breath.
Stick your finger down the lorikeet’s throat and expel the sleep medicines.

Ask me for a blanket and I will produce a thread.
We can each hold an end and vibrate a song in praise of pioneers.

The Conestoga part of my heart can only let you in a little.
I will gladly feed you beans and lard, watch the flames pony-prance untamed
      shadows across your face.

We have the same connective tissue inside our more-than-private bodies.
It resembles a very long river, difficult to cross.

If I were an antelope, you might be a prairie hare.
If I a sheep, you, an Australian cattle dog.

We have known one another throughout many incarnations.
One time I came to you as lightning, you, the fierce, almost-soothing rain.

Bio: George Kalamaras, Poet Laureate of Indiana, is the author of seven books of poetry and seven chapbooks, including Kingdom of Throat-Stuck Luck, winner of the Elixir Press Poetry Prize (2011). He is Professor of English at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, where he has taught since 1990.