Tyler Friend

after H.D.’s “Circe”

I was easy enough
to bend, to bend

over her altar. Easy enough
to touch & be touched. I drifted

on the great sea of drink, this sea
of white ash & rock & tamarisk.

It’s a risk, this. Come
& blacken my innermost forest.

Your fragrance, fragmented. All this
sea-magic. Nautical. I’m

nautilus-like, an easy
enough thing to be, I think. They cried

at the sight of my face & I prayed
only for your touch. My entreaty: please

come for me & (whispered): stay.
I pant for you & become

a sea-sound, a sea-stone. Sea
lion barking at your heels. I,

swirl of sand in the wind. I
resonate with your frequency.

[What is your frequency, Kenny?]

It is easy enough to call men
dirt & still

summon them to my feet.
They circle me like panthers, sleek

hounds. I could let them cover my sea-caves
with ivory & onyx. Me & my rock-

fringe coral, the palace
of this whole religion.

Tyler Friend headshot


Tyler Friend was grown in Tennessee and received an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Their poems have appeared in Tin House, Hobart, Hunger Mountain, and elsewhere. When not writing, Tyler edits Francis House, designs for Eulalia Books, pours concrete, pets cats, and teaches high school.