A full wood, wet bark
shower, the fresh drenched
trees, the leaves lush heavy,
so consequently, Stephania.
Stephania, curled finger ferns
unfurl and burst. Loose spores
string through mist and nestle.
Moss tufts rub.
Rain-slapped leaves, Stephania,
spring and drip on our deep
sogged glade, our soaked sunk roots.
Me and Stephania.
In a hiding place our slick lips sore
from pressing together.
Stephania, seaweed breath,
burrs in your tangling curls,
soiled nails and knees, giggling.
Eden, Stephania. The smell of dirt.
I never want to leave the world.
Through the streaming wash
of rain, through the windows
and pale curtains, our mothers ache.
Their bedrooms flicker with blue TV.
Scent of biscuits, chimney smoke, tea.
Our fathers cup their hands
against the cold glass panes
and look out.
It’s dusk, Stephania.
No one knows where we are.
Buy the book
“Passionate and accomplished — this poet’s ear is beautifully tuned — The Seed Thieves is an urgent, nervous, tender, and brilliant first book. Read it for joy!”
—Tomas Lux, author of The Street of Clocks and The Cradle Place
In addition to The Seed Thieves, Robert Fanning is the author of Old Bright Wheel, winner of the Ledge Press Poetry Chapbook Award. A graduate of the University of Michigan and Sarah Lawrence College, his writing awards include a Creative Artist Grant from ArtServe Michigan, the Inkwell Poetry Award, and the Foley Poetry Award. His work has also been published in Poetry, Ploughshares, The Atlanta Review, The Hawaii Review, America, The Ledge, and Artword Quarterly. He is the Program Director of the InsideOut Literary Arts Project, which brings professional writers into the classrooms of the Detroit Public Schools. He is a resident of Ferndale.