William Page


Who can resist the ideal, clouds floating
in an endless sky, fragrance of orange blossoms
wafting at a perfect wedding?

Even in an Arm & Hammer logo
there's illusion of perfection:
Smithy's rolled up sleeve's ideal biceps.

But to show such rounded muscles the wrist
must be twisted clockwise forty-five degrees.
Then Smithy's hammer wouldn't hit any anvil,

but strike his unsuspecting navel, that knot
tying him between the unimaginable
worlds of pre and post existence.

Even the perfectly practical umbilical cord,
once cinched into a bloody knot, reminds
us how little we know the ideal,

though even a flattened balloon
of cast off placenta had once
been an ideal web of wisdom,

the exact map of the precise world
that must circle perfectly
like a snake swallowing its own tail.

William Page's poems have appeared in some hundred reviews, including The North American Review, The Southern Review, Southwest Review, Ploughshares, The Literary Review, and Mississippi Review, and in numerous anthologies. His work is forthcoming in Sewanee Review, Writers' Forum, Potpourri, and elsewhere. Page retired from the Creative Writing Faculty at the University of Memphis, where he occasionally returns to teach and was Founding Editor of River City.



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