I say I don’t deserve you. I believe it.
I’ve made wide shields and straight arrows,

but nothing glazed as your body.
I wonder where you spend the nights
while I chime and sweat

in the dark forge. The worry
labors beside me, pumping air
into the fire and holding the metal

heavy on the anvil. I pound at it
for you, not quite reaching anger.
Everything I make hisses in the pail

and comes out as dull as resignation.
I would learn from my failure and stop,
but there are debts to pay, like the one

I owe to creation itself. Some alchemy
of work, I think, will pay it off.
Then I’ll be with you in our bed.

So I bend my head, set my feet,
and swing my brazen hammer.

Colin Criss has an MFA in Poetry from Washington University in St. Louis. He is from Old Forge, NY.

Appears In

Issue 7

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