I didn’t read until my twenties
I didn’t know to drink
words like a broth. Telling myself
I didn’t have time, I was too
busy slaying invisible
armies with chestnut branches.
By sixteen, branches had dwindled to
pencils—I wrote before I read,
toying with sails before
I had lumber, constructing galleons with
unstable decks. These feckless
skeletons collapsed, and I
sat surrounded in the hull
alone with words.
Ian C. Williams is a poet often caught wearing coffee, drinking tweed, and confusing common verbs. His work has been published in Yorick Magazine, The Gap-Toothed Madness, and Dirty Chai, among others. He received the 2014 Florence Kahn Memorial Award from the NFSPS for his chapbook House of Bones. He lives with his wife in West Virginia, where he is working on a full-length project.