This is my practice: holding 

the little flowers at the angle 

that makes them bloom. 


There’s a light fragrance in the kitchen. 

I smear a map, get lost. 

Pots and pans. An empty page. 


I swear to whatever is outside 

the weird window I will defy 

history, which is entropy with another face. 


I will raise the blank mask to cover my listing 

smile. I will erase every small joy 

before making what I will make.


Mark McCloughan is a writer and artist in New York City. He is the author of No Harbor (L + S Press, 2014) and his poems have appeared or are forthcoming in American Poetry Review, Lines + Stars, decomP, and Sentinel Literary Quarterly