Boots, Flesh, and Dirt

143 words published on March 5th

I’m glad you asked.

A poem is made up of three things: boots, flesh, and dirt. Only one of these ingredients is necessary to make it work; most poets include them all. They can’t help it. It’s like being nearsighted or serenading the moon when it’s upside down.

It’s in their blood.

Meter, rhyme, form, pentameter. Doesn’t matter. If you use at least one of these three ingredients, it’s a poem.

Don’t take my word for it. Try it out for yourself.

Drive. Wait until dark, pull over, lock your doors. Walk into an open field. Listen to your feet. Question the air pulling your skin.

You might not notice, but you’re writing a poem. The title of your poem is “Thursday, 1:04 AM, Scattered Clouds.”

And this is what it says:

We’ve left our marks. Our feet want out. The world wants in.