Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2018  Vol. 17 No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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Face Blindness

She wants the eggs so she can hollow them,
and she keeps chickens

in the pen where the goats were until someone
came and took them away.

But there is an ordinance against this too
and the neighbors who remain

strangers complain until she brings the hens
into the house, to save them,

eats her supper sometimes with one of them
in her lap. They nest

in the back of the piano, in the cradle.
She goes out to gather

cicadas for them to eat, the plague of one
summer a bounty,

a legion of wings; she takes a bucket the way
she would to gather

raspberries that ripen along the river.
How carefully she harvests them,

looking down along the street for glassine
wings, the panes’ thin leading.

She paints the face of no one she knows on the canvas
shells, her strokes careful,

capillary thin, her brushes sharp
as needles, sharp as the scritch

of their feet strolling across the floor, the sky lost
to them, the silenced cicadas,  

this otherworldliness closer to the faceless sun  

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