Reckoning of Numbers

G.C. Waldrep

Your eyelids,

separate as cold from cold.

How much might they weigh, if weighed separately, I mean from the body?

It’s all very sudden.

Night draped against a bird’s narrow neck,


at the republic of emotions,

blurred among flags,

irradiant. That balance ascending,


to it, or to other gestures.

G.C. Waldrep’s most recent books are The Earliest Witnesses (Tupelo/Carcanet, 2021) and feast gently (Tupelo, 2018), winner of the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America. Recent work has appeared in American Poetry Review, Poetry, Paris Review, New England Review, Yale Review, Colorado Review, The Nation, New American Writing, Conjunctions, and other journals. Waldrep lives in Lewisburg, PA, where he teaches at Bucknell University.