Geoff Bouvier, Kwame Daniels, Cindy Hill, Kelly McGuigan and Lacy Snapp

When someone says “the safety of the nest”
no one on earth need ask what those words mean.

I am of the country so full of itself it presumes
      to call itself by a name that applies
          to at least thirty-four other countries.

We hold that globe of reference in our dreams
or in the soft flesh of a lover’s breast.

I am of the gender so full of itself that it gets to presume.

Crossing Boston Common in a deluge,
a silent old man appears, suddenly,
through dim grey sheets of rain.

           “the dusk of a sleeping planet"

I am of the race so full of itself it invented the concept of race.

     quote mutual respect endquote

        quote community endquote

quote the human collective endquote

I am of the sexuality so full of itself it presumes to be favored
by God and biology.

                                      He shielded me
with his umbrella, a gift of refuge.

I am so full of myself that I blame anything everything
but myself for that fullness.

time and emotional space
timean      demotional

“I can contribute anything in time”

I am part of the problem. I’ve reaped the full benefit
since long before I was born.

There comes a time to step outside, to fly
and fall to certain death on the sidewalk.

straight into fungi
their system of words
without words much like we can
achieve through our art but that
ties into death and we
all end up underground

My first thought, now that I’ve listed all this,
is that everyone here who is
like me deserves
to be culled for the good of humanity.

Between faltering beats of wings one cry
escapes all living throats, a common call:

that same fungi
which we can be
compared to will
break us down
and collectively
turn us into
something new

On second thought, maybe it’s enough
if no one has to hear anyone like me
say anything anymore.

“I first slept in the fullness of a round
embrace, and ever since have sought
that downy bed. Great battles I have fought
alone, but it is nowhere to be found.”

And my next thought is here I am saying it.

Photograph by Michael Howarth

Geoff Bouvier, Kwame Daniels, Cindy Hill, Kelly McGuigan and Lacy Snapp

Geoff Bouvier, Kwame Daniels, Cindy Hill, Kelly McGuigan and Lacy Snapp produced "Common: A Collaborative Poem" in the experimental poetry workshop at the Vermont College of Fine Arts summer 2023 residency. Geoff Bouvier has published several poetry collections including Us from Nothing (Wolsak&Wynn 2023). Kwame Sound Daniels is the author of two poetry books, including the sonnet collection The Pause and the Breath (Atmosphere Press 2023). Cindy Ellen Hill is the author of two sonnet chapbooks, including Elegy for the Trees (Kelsay Books, 2022).

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