Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2023  Vol. 21  No.3
an online journal of literature and the arts
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The Pickup’s

stuck in the trees, lodged
fast. When you
were four, when five . . .

we’ve tried, Jack’s alive, cannot
rock it out. Now who’s
in the house? The uncles!

Kicked back in their chairs,
they haw-haw, put some
hair on it! but the truck’s

stove in and spins out
in the sent-down: slick leaves.
We’ve knocked hard, seen

rings of stars, sister,
and we’re tired of pushing,
of walking up and down Broad,

faces swimming in shiny
as bedspreads on motel beds
and the sidewalk

repeating itself, ahem, ahem,
the sidewalk drawing us
back to the creek,
to the runoff standing

black bright in grass
stiff with frost but still

growing through, sister, see?
Downtown last summer, I counted
seven demolitions: debris

overhead drifting
and the mannequin’s
bent elbow a building

floating downstream
green the river, the roof
green the kitchen sink

we stood at spitting,
kicking the counter
and scouring plates

in filmy dishwater until
they shone, fishtailed
out of our throats? until

they shone like our own
collarbones: shaped
in the dark and strange  

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