Fall 2010, Volume 9

Poetry by Mark Belair


There you are, a child
regarding a rock you
wrangle with and turn over
to open up
a cool world of deep
ant grooves, slugs, spiders, and worms
you behold from your crouch
like a distant god contemplating
small, exposed private lives, lives
responding with panic
to the shocking sun that comes
with your strange, looming face,
and you suddenly, unexpectedly
know you have the power to decide
who lives and who dies.

Then you fit the rock back
perfectly, restoring
that dark, living world
even as it disappears from your gaze—
a loss you gently experience—this world
you now know endures through
grace just learned.


BIO: Mark Belair is a drummer and percussionist based in New York City. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in numerous journals, including The Distillery, Harvard Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Mudfish, Slipstream, The South Carolina Review, and The Sun. His poem, "The Word," was nominated for a 2008 Pushcart Prize and his chapbook collection, Walk With Me, has been accepted for publication by Parallel Press of the University of Wisconsin at Madison. For further information, visit www.markbelair.com.