Negation #1


What cannot be expressed by taboo

cannot be expressed by people

in crisp, white a-frame houses.

What else cannot be expressed    

is like that which animals and babies cannot express.

It exists in ticket lines and ATM transfers.

Before grief. The cacophony of the zoo,

as illustrated in the child’s picture book.

Some character climbs over or under

the bars to commune with a lion.

The lion cannot express its yearning to talk

with the parent reading the book to her child

who cannot talk. Look, look. We have no choice.

The parent expresses in spite of herself.


The Gardener


Out of the black dirt of my new bed, I lift

a decrepit plastic wiffle ball,

cracked open like an eggshell on one side

where nothing has escaped,

empty from inception.

I dig in my own dirt

to find chunk pieces of cinderblock

foundation. I dig

and lift a metal padlock,

unearth a round, rock

paving stone, a gray orb,

egg unbroken by water,

air, or fire in the sky

above us.


Anne Garwig holds degrees from the NEOMFA consortium and Ohio State University. Her poetry has appeared in the Mojave River Review and Broad! among other journals and is included in Invisible Picnic, an anthology published by the University of Akron Press. Anne was a runner-up for the 2016 Into the Void Poetry Prize. She has also been an associate artist in residence at the Atlantic Center for the Arts and completed the Poetry Foundation's Summer Poetry Teachers Institute. A native of Youngstown, Ohio, she teaches in Rutgers University Newark’s international program in Changchun, China, where she lives with her husband.