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Phillip B. Williams reads his poem “Greatly Be Gentle”.

Brought to you by Complexly, The Poetry Foundation, and poet Paige Lewis. Learn more:

Phillip B. Williams:

Book: Thief in the Interior
Press: Alice James Books
Page: 53

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Hi my name is Phillip B Williams.

I'm a poet, writer, educator. Today I'll be reading a poem for my book Thief in the Interior.

The name of the poem is called Greatly Be Gentle and it's one of the few love poems in my book and I decided to share a little love today.

Greatly Be Gentle

In the night-spun clearing we were spent, star-burst wide
and lending our skin to the sun's failing heat.  

Where your hand sat, my clavicle met, unbending.
Where are your arrows to pull this bow-bone taut
till timid, till cracked so night could crawl its way inside?

Was a sharpness where you weighted yourself against me.
Was a blind spot in my body's breakage, where tightness
was soldiered away, spread well-winged and with blade.  

       A dream in my night broke my sleep.
                 I only remember waking to streetlights
through the window, a dull yellow
          washing over everything.  My darkness
                    a lighter shade of itself.  On my bare chest,
light masked the door to the dream.