James Henry Knippen


Wet moon on bluestem, if sound
is enough. If sound is enough,

trillium tryst. Mouth full of
dark roses, if image is enough. If

image is enough, weeping gladiolus.
Frangipani at dusk, if fragrance

is enough. If flavor is enough,
moonseed paralysis. Gold shadow

of monkshood, if faith is enough.
If touch equals faith, moons do

not exist. Rose shadows wither
when the hedge is on fire. If love

is enough, chrysanthemum kiss.
Blue light licks the lakeshore

if the moon’s a damned liar. If the
moon’s wet enough, incinerate this.

James Henry Knippen’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Colorado Review, West Branch, Hayden’s Ferry Review, DIAGRAM, and elsewhere. He is an AWP Intro Journal Award winner and poetry editor of Newfound. He currently lives in Texas, where he teaches first-year English at Texas State University-San Marcos.