Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsFall 2015  Vol. 14 No. 2
an online journal of literature and the arts
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The Succulent Flowers

In the forty-third dream, Sergeant at last was
allowed to trade wings of the house with his
brother, but Galbraith had left the windows
open through the recent storms. Frigatebirds
were roosting in a wardrobe now overgrown
with lichens. As Sergeant grabbed their necks,
their hollow bones snapped, and the splinters
pierced his naked fingers. He wiped them on
an Easter dress that belonged to their sister,
Martha, who had gone missing only this year.

When Sergeant woke, it was half past seven.
Galbraith and Martha would have moved on
to the greenhouse to supervise the watering.
Sergeant would skip breakfast and go straight
to the study. He would say that he had been
awake since dawn and had lost track of time,
speculating on the future of glass architecture.
In theory, whole cities could be made of glass.
Glass walls, glass doors—even roofs of glass.
Citizens of glass cities would grow very close.

Sergeant dried his face beside the washbowl,
his burgundy nightshirt saturated with sweat.
Their father had always said, Dreams can kill.
Sergeant had heard him on the evening of his
death, from behind his locked chamber door,
speaking the name of their aunt—Ermalinda.
Martha said that dreams were pleasure cruises.
One met only nice people, and he conversed
or played games on deck—though sometimes
the ship sank, and he did not live to learn why.  end  

   Between the Something and the Nothing . . .
Editor’s Commentary on Kimbrell’s Form and Process

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