On Wariness


I’m afraid of your elation.
The way you arrive masked.
The way the mask is removed

outside of the airport.
In that big city of lanterns     someone
knows your teeth.  Someone

knows the way you dance     your
rosemary     lime smell.
There is rhythm in the jumble.

There is rhythm on the pavement.
There is rhythm in small
apartment rooms.

I’m over slicing tomatoes.
I’m over drinking wine.
I’m performing as not to be

deformed     as not
to show what I shouldn’t.
I don’t want to feel everything.

I don’t want to know this distance.
The way it throttles.
The way it renders night

in me     a dreadful stillness.
I don’t want to be still.
I don’t want to be dream.

I don’t want to float among scorching orbs.
I don’t want to feed
the gulls what I know.


Myronn Hardy is the author of, most recently, Radioactive Starlings. Aurora Americana is forthcoming this fall. His poems have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Ploughshares, Poetry, The Georgia Review, The Baffler, and elsewhere. He lives in Maine.

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On Wariness

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