And in a dictionary of symbolism we found you, somewhere between the J’s & U’s, crouched behind a leopard & a snow pea. Impossible to subtract you from the scenery—ravens & serpents haranguing evil, cross-sectioned with dewy pears & stolen virtue. But you, you told us nothing about ourselves or about the past. You sat there preening your fur, glimpsing absently at a cricket who had wandered down from the early pages to remind of the peril of ignoring the messages of the immortal. And we wondered why you were there at all, whether it was mistake which place you here among jakelopes & unicorns, or if you might have something to say—leaning over us with your jaw unhinged, coaxing us inside, to the darker places, where the world repeats itself again & again.
Adam Jerome Williams’ poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Washington Square, Painted Bride Quarterly, Meridian and elsewhere. He received an MA from the University of New Hampshire and an MFA from New York University and was twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize (2006 & 2007). He lives in Ohio, where he teaches writing and literature.