Lure - Cover



Lena-Miles Wever Todd Poetry Prize Series

80 pages / 6.00 x 9.00 inches / no illustrations


“With Lure, Nils Michals extends to us a world of radiant detail—sometimes the world feels painfully beautiful—and eerie inner song. Moving between quietly charged description and sweeps of anguish and abrupt joy, Michals is always aware of how his attention treads on the landscapes and people it follows.” —Joanna Klink


What comes off the sea recalls nothing

of loving a world and for those with eyes
wishing something other than what is seen
it says: listen.
Comes off the sea and does not care, says accept
there may or may not be a hand
in this: a taste of spray,
salt, some origin no longer
encompassing us with calm, says
you are on your own now.
And the shy grown citizens. City of harbors.
What comes off the sea has tinned the sea 
wide and for miles like wheat blown one direction.
Off the sea, the distance it has glassed 
faltering, comes near to ask 
Who are you, and after you answer, 
just sea, air, 
nowhere in the giftbearing world a voice 
having said salt, water— 
and in not saying, not a thing we may call quiet, 
no voice having sung.

“Westerly” published in Lure: Poems by Nils Michals. Copyright © 2004 by Nils Michals. All rights reserved. 

Nils Michals 's poems have appeared in jubilat, Indiana Review, Faultline, and other journals. He lives in San Francisco.

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