This poem first appeared on “Writing from the Pacific Northwest,” a blog perpetuated by Matt Briggs, on 9 September 2012. First written in May of 1998 when I was in transition between editing Woodnotes and Tundra: The Journal of the Short Poem. Not previously published.


I write another rejection

and seal another envelope,

cells of my cut tongue

drying inside.


I wonder if some poet might

try to poison me

with the envelopes I lick—

the requisite self-addressed stamped . . .


Some envelopes taste sour

but some taste sweet.

I wonder what taste

the poison will have.