Wreck Me by Sally Ball

Posted 5.1.13

Sally Ball reads from her second poetry collection, Wreck Me, published in April by Barrow Street Press.


No Threat, Nuthatch

Tiny presence in the pines,
hold still. Upside down—
right side up—flock of nerves
and fretful hunger. Hold still.

Your brothers and your sisters 
have forgotten me. That’s how still
I have managed to be, 
pip pip pip. No stillness 
for the foragers. How I love
to make no difference here.

My throat like yours—
rapid little tremor,
heart-freight, air.

Excerpt from Dear Matthew

Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? (6:27)

How did this question last 
through all the vetting and revisions? 

Christ critiques the verb more than its object: 
worrying, which means longing, and intending.

Instead it’s 

Yield yourselves. Be melons. 

Don’t think: extend, control,  

think: expand;

think yield.

As in give way,

also harvest. Lemons, felons. 

Relinquish and generate—relinquish in order to generate.

I fell in love with a maker and he died. 

Seemed to die.

The angel says I don’t know how to “die

into”—

—someone’s arms?  glacial change?  the new?  myself?

You may not want me to be yours. 

But how can you be rid of me?

Lilies into the fire?  You can eat them.

Tiger, stargazer: powder stain at the corner of my lip.

Reprinted from Wreck Me with permission of Barrow Street Press. Copyright © 2013 by Sally Ball.