Peter Grandbois

It’s not that I’m lost

like the mouse

somewhere in the basement

the one I can smell but can’t

I wake into clothes without
a body

walk through the labyrinth
of days

the skin grows all sorts of things
when you die

flies buzzing in ears that no longer

the weeping inside

each step no more than
a biography

a calling to each other

like the sickly-sweet scent
of the mouse

that must be somewhere
in the basement

if only I could find it

I could give you my newborn

bind you to me with a pearl
in your mouth

stack bones against your feet

in a dream like that I could tell you
about the little bloom

of its eyes

its throat of charred

in a dream like that I could find
that mouse

lay the story of its body

bury it in the long arm
of leaves


like a solstice

like a simple breath

upon the earth

This blind dream

You remember

how you said
you’d take flight

from this blind

How you’d never sit
counting drips
from the faucet

never open the aviary
of your doorless body

only to find
a stranger

There is no mistaking
this haunted sky
for a field

where you might dig free
of this chosen



longer than the splinter
in your eye

split from your last brief

Often, I return

to a dog-eared page
and wonder why

or stare at an antique photo
of a loved one

as if it’s a window
open to rain

I wander this still life
of a city

through the slow wash
of days framed

by the pain in the mouth
of a passerby—

a foreigner depending
on the safe lies of memory

while life hums with almost

and drunk ghosts stumbling
along boulevards

mutter vague curses
of what might have been

Because the sparrows in the trees
whistle carefree and loud

Because the coyote calls
her whelps yipping from lack

Because you keep asking
how deep the snow

I walk through the soughing wind
into the dimming light

Faith, after all, was easy then
before the road turned

back, then back, again

Peter Grandbois is the author of thirteen books. His work has appeared in over one hundred and fifty journals. His plays have been performed in St. Louis, Columbus, Los Angeles, and New York. He is poetry editor at Boulevard and teaches at Denison University in Ohio. You can find him at
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About Posit Editor

Susan Lewis ( is the Editor-in-chief and founder of Posit ( and the author of ten books and chapbooks, including Zoom (winner of the Washington Prize), Heisenberg's Salon, This Visit, and State of the Union. Her poetry has appeared in anthologies such as Walkers in the City (Rain Taxi), They Said (Black Lawrence Press), and Resist Much, Obey Little (Dispatches/Spuyten Duyvil), as well as in journals such as Agni, Boston Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Conjunctions online, Diode, Interim, New American Writing, and VOLT.