Poem 20150815

the face seems
not quite right
maybe the chin too soft
or the brow not strong enough

something insouciant
about the mouth

but the clay
–red on the hands
red on the fingers
red under the fingernails–
the clay forgives
and forgives
and forgives

while you can fix a
broken nose
with a thumb and your index

and scrape away
the lips with
a wire loop
and start again

you can’t re-sculpt
any words that pass
those lips