Beginning Again


“Out of poverty/to begin again.”

–Charles Simic

Micki calls me

with the new instructions.

The time is now,

she says, her voice a sexy

grumble. Our under-

structure hums. That night

we got together

below one star, bright as

any prospect. I held

her strawberry hand and

she took me with a

smile and a kiss and the last

word in tender incantations.

When the butterscotch

dawn came we were

already on our way, keeping

our eyes on the smoke

in the incandescent distance.



Corey Mesler has published in numerous journals and anthologies, including The Esquire/Narrative4 Project and Good Poems, American Places (Viking Press, 2011). He has published six novels and three books of short stories. He has also published over a dozen chapbooks of both poetry and prose. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize numerous times, and two of his poems have been chosen for Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac. He can be found at