I stood in front of the wall

to anywhere and knew
the preposition was right
—the wall as way. It was
gray and not like that barn
in Georgia or that bar
in Minnesota and not
like those clouds over
South Dakota that time
we drove through all
that prairie-forever.

Drab, it could have
contained anything or
blocked everything or
created all spaces or
held a door to anywhere
or kept me this side
of anyplace.

I posed in front of the wall
and thought of it as a way.
My position was wrong: Look
here, away, soften your eyes,
loosen your mouth, relax
your hands, look there,
now at me.

Not adorned with a painting,
and not part of a cave or
condo, it didn't come with
a firing squad or faithful
wailers or Mongol hordes or
different politics embracing
either side of it or a noisy
freeway and places to reside
just over there with old trees
and small lawns where those
who can't quite afford quiet
have to live.

This wall was just there—
a blank page with me
standing behind it.

About the Poet

Sean Hill is the author of Blood Ties & Brown Liquor (UGA Press, 2008). His awards include fellowships from Cave Canem, The MacDowell Colony, the University of Wisconsin, and a Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University. His poems have appeared in Callaloo, Ploughshares, DIAGRAM, Tin House, and numerous journals, and in several anthologies including Black Nature. He lives in Bemidji, Minnesota. More information, as well as poems, can be found at www.seanhillpoetry.com.