Orphaned, night goes around undoing everything
we thought we’d built to outlast us.
This slight starlight graffitis its name
up & down the schoolhouse wall.
No Trespass means nothing to the bullets
the wind carries from our hands, outward.
Because ash is always plural, dawn doesn’t bother
stacking the living together before burning.
John Sibley Williams is the author of As One Fire Consumes Another (Orison Poetry Prize, 2019), Skin Memory(Backwaters Prize, University of Nebraska Press, 2019), Summon (JuxtaProse Chapbook Prize, 2019), Disinheritance, and Controlled Hallucinations. A twenty three-time Pushcart nominee, John is the winner of numerous awards, including the Wabash Prize for Poetry, Philip Booth Award, American Literary Review Poetry Contest, Laux/Millar Prize, Phyllis Smart-Young Prize, Janet B. McCabe Poetry Prize, and others. He serves as editor of The Inflectionist Review and works as a poetry editor and literary agent. Previous publishing credits include: The Yale Review, North American Review, Midwest Quarterly, Southern Review, Sycamore Review, Prairie Schooner, The Massachusetts Review, Poet Lore, Saranac Review, Atlanta Review, TriQuarterly, Columbia Poetry Review, Mid-American Review, Poetry Northwest, Third Coast, and various anthologies. He lives in Portland, Oregon.