Matt McBride

Matt McBride's work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Another Chicago Magazine, Columbia Poetry Review, Cream City Review, FENCE, Forklift, and Smartish Pace amongst others. His latest chapbook, Cities Lit by the Light Caught in Photographs was released in 2012 by H_NGM_N Books. He is an assistant poetry editor at His blog is


Most of smoke is ash;
photographs are shadow only—

clouds, memories of the starless
slate into which they fold.

I’ve known you forever.
I’m waiting by the ocean

and you’re the man in the moon.
Night won’t acknowledge us

whistling cold, you telling me
the depth of the ocean

me telling you
about the cotton in my bones.


The tag made it vintage.

The coffee-colored water
stained everything.

A riot neglected.

I remember your face was neither

as skim of Bible pages
coated the Ohio.

Inside Every Bird

is a penny
with a silhouette
of your father as an infant.

The light in photographs

the silence particular to elevators—

is only a part of itself.