Michael Dickman

Poems by Michael Dickman

Nervous System

We Did Not Make Ourselves

Seeing Whales

  Michael Dickman

Nervous System

Make a list
of everything that’s
ever been

on fire –

Abandoned cars
The sea

Your mother burned down to the skeleton

so she could come back, born back from her bed, and walk around the
             house again, exhausted
             in slippers

What else?

Your brain
Your eyes
Your lungs


When you look down
inside yourself
what is there?

You are a walking bag of surgical instruments
shining from the inside out

and that’s just

Tomorrow it could be different

When I think of the childhood inside me I think of sunlight dying on
             a windowsill

The voices of my friends
in the sunlight

All of us running around
outside our


Someone is here
to see you

Someone has come a long way with their arms out in front of them
             like a child

walking down a hallway
at night

Make room for them –
they’re very tired

I wish I could look down past the burning chandelier inside me

where the language begins
to end


THE END OF THE WEST (Copper Canyon Press, 2009)