Still Life Mechanical

By Camille Rankine

There is no flowering in my mind, no flower names,
no prairies, no plains, no greenery. One tree,
no leaves, two birds. No words for birds.

No fields of gold. No ripe. One hill,
no wave, no roll. I am billboards
& stone. I am all object,

all dress, no bone. No beast, no wild, no
genus, humanoid. All edifice, all lamppost,
no dusk, no star, no sky.

One half-moon, no galaxy. No mountain’s majesty.
One elevator, gliding up. All pulse, dull
hum & buzz. All crave, take, thirst.


Camille Rankine, “Still Life Mechanical” from Incorrect Merciful Impulses. Copyright © 2016 by Camille Rankine. Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Copper Canyon Press, All rights reserved.