Belly Song

I cut a bush into the earth,
     Whose leaves won’t bud or fill,
Or flower my day, or fruit for
     My warm moods, my belly

When spring comes strung across
     The roofs of the neighborhood,
When street names ring round
     The thought of what’s good.

I looked outside myself and saw
     White water storm in
The drains, and branches crawl
     Shadows across my siding.

I looked for the dawn to come.
     I looked for it to cease.
I left the lights on in the hall,
     Above where I lay beneath.

My feelings stacked by the fence,
     Pretty put in line with foul—
It was a story someone told
     That left me feeling solid.

I made myself a pair of sheep
     And fraternized the hills,
Or spent the evening by myself,
     Fingertip on a pill.

The lights are on in the yard.
     People asleep in beds.
I’m holding a plate of food
     I’ll soon slide into my head.


SAMUEL AMADON is the author of Like a Sea, winner of the Iowa Poetry Prize, and The Hartford Book, winner of the Believer Poetry Book Award. His poems have appeared in A Public Space, American Poetry Review, Boston Review, The New Yorker, Ploughshares, Tin House, and elsewhere. He is the author of four chapbooks, including Each H from Ugly Duckling Presse. He received his PhD from the University of Houston, and he lives in Columbia, SC, where he is an Assistant Professor at the University of South Carolina.