Michael Schmeltzer

What Accidental Grace Fills the Mistakes

I am worried about the sun again,
light and warmth like
the softest touch on your shoulder
as a lover walks by


the day before they leave you.
We should rip ourselves open like clouds
and give birth to birds.
How do we even begin


when we’ve already begun
pouring down on those who asked
for no feather of the sort? We stir
ourselves into storms.


Lover, long ago I spread myself
like fog. I have, like a field,
quietly stayed down.
Every ecosystem I’ve evolved for you.


Forest. Desert. Tundra. I am
your every terrain
and terrible when left alone.
Prescribe me fauna


for this feverish isolation.
What flora a fire destroys
it does so without malice. The rocket
the boy shot into the prairie


he did so with only
the miracle of flight in mind
like the man who stole the plane
and spoke so brokenly from the air


before crashing back to earth.
Understand landing
is the true miracle.


The arrow the girl released
at the rabbit
went flying overhead.
What accidental


grace fills this world,
and this world
is a mistake.
I am in it


to prove nothing else.


Michael Schmeltzer was born and raised in Japan before moving to the US. He is the co-author of the nonfiction book A Single Throat Opens—a lyric exploration of addiction and family. His debut book Blood Song was a Washington State Book Award Finalist for Poetry. He is a 2019 Jack Straw fellow, a member of Seattle7Writers, and currently serves as the President of Floating Bridge Press. If you give him Jelly Bellys or fruity-sour-chewy candy of any sort he will most assuredly be your friend.
Contact him at mschmeltzer01@gmail.com.

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