Kerry James Evans

Two poems from Kerry James Evans’s Arachne’s Tapestry

followed by a note on the author

The Heavens Opened, and God Said

All endings, even mine, will be yours.
Take the Chevrolet Camaro—
a popular car in Florida.
Not only will Florida cease

to exist, but so will every
yellow Camaro double-parked
in a roped-off field outside
the nearest fall festival

with its haunted corn maze
and pumpkin patch—
its local AC/DC cover band
reuniting for one last tour.

Fear not, my child. Those songs
live on. They carry like bubbles
drawn from a soapy wand.
You are like a branch

that has forgotten the trunk,
a bird in a lightning storm,
waves lingering at the shore.
I am sand. I am the wave, the wind,

the red flag whipping a blue sky.
Would you believe me if I said
you and I are both blue sky?
Would you try? Do you ever

wonder what frustrates me?
Never-ending guitar solos,
legalese, and skinny pawn brokers.
Do you hear the guitar solo?

What about the neighbor’s kids
burning donuts in deserted
quarries? Their bare-chested
howl is a hymn all its own.

Once, the universe was a series
of wheels within wheels. Now,
it is a shattered urn. In the beginning,
it was good—in the beginning.




From my dialect to my toes,
everything I am
—especially the I am—
is borrowed. All of it
a bit of water and clay

mixed in a pot
—no more than a stew
left to simmer
awhile, to fill a house
with feel-good. To

feel good, but not to burn
the hand who stirred
me into being,
not to boil over when the coils
redden at my feet.



The Heavens Opened, and God Said first appeared in The Tusculum Review, 17 (2021): 40-41; Stew first appeared in 32 Poems, 17.2 (2019): 16

Kerry James Evans is the author of Bangalore (Copper Canyon). He lives in Milledgeville, Georgia, where he teaches in the MFA program at Georgia College & State University and serves as the poetry editor for Arts & Letters. Learn more at