Jeff Hardin


Not to have entered appetite in the first place
                                                                           but to have known.
I doubt it makes much difference—standing in or watching for the rain.
At the end of our certainties: parentheses, ellipses...


Let's say a phone rings,
                                      just to live in the possibilities of what might be said.
Kyrie Eleison or liaison or Elysian or my own being...
Knowledge, gained,
                                      says be content with less, then less, then less.


Not ideas about the thing, or the thing itself,
                                                                           but what it emits.
Just to say so this once, I'm a haiku Issa gave to a stream.
In a world of such numbness, some flowers pink the dusk.


If I'm already dead, don't tell me, not yet,
                                                                           leaping in snow, mouthing at flakes.

Jeff Hardin is the author of Fall Sanctuary (2005), Notes for a Praise Book (2013), Restoring the Narrative (2015), and Small Revolution (forthcoming, 2016). His poems appear in recent and forthcoming issues of Hudson Review, Southern Review, Laurel Review, Grist, Bluestem, Birmingham Poetry Review, Tupelo Quarterly, and elsewhere. He lives and teaches in TN. Visit his website at

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