Poem by Maxwell Stenson

Poem by Maxwell Stenson

This morning we will be simple.

We will collect splayed

seconds, our fingers

anticipating caffeine.


We will offer nothing

in way of robinsong

branches, motions

Aeolian about them.


There’s little time

for casual sublimity,

for drowned blues

beside a broken river.


Steel offices, shield,

crucible or desktop: for these

today will we be simple.


And for twenty minutes

a war can end which

trumpeted never truly

for us, for twenty minutes


we can taste

simple salt, curtailed

lotus, the dawn rolled back

along a lover’s tongue.



This premature light lingers,

lances through limes

and disassembles the mourning chariot.

Maxwell Stenson currently lives and works in Sacramento, California. His poetry has been nominated for Best New Poets, has appeared in Thrush, The Blue Route, Sijo: An International Journal of Poetry and Song, and is forthcoming in The Elevation Review.