by Chard deNiord

I willed the knife to hit the mark and it did
sometimes at the point, and stuck. Practice led
to skill until my eyes were covered with a handker-
chief and my beloved straddled a wheel
for all to see as I threw at her to hit
the space between her legs, beside her head,
beneath her arms. This was it, all
or nothing: my life and hers in a mortal art
where every night she was reprieved for having
lived, and I was kissed as she was freed
as part of the act that traveled the country and built
my fame as the man who misses with perfect aim.

From The Double Truth, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011

Chard deNiord is the author of four books of poetry, including this year’s The Double Truth, and is an associate professor of English at Providence College.

*Photo courtesy of Templarion.