Blackbird an online journal of literature and the arts Fall 2007  Vol. 6 No. 2


Chris Abani
Victoria Chang
Michael Chitwood
Keith Ekiss
Gibson Fay-LeBlanc
Beth Ann Fennelly
Raza Ali Hasan
James Hoch
Cyan James
Julia Johnson
Larry Levis
Khaled Mattawa
Timothy O’Keefe
Catherine Pierce
Jon Pineda
John Poch
Austin Segrest
Louie Skipper
Ron Smith
Robert Thomas
Joshua Weiner
Lesley Wheeler
Charles Wright


The Present

Silence, a swallow
stuck in the throat,
centers on outstretched
hands: they hold
a small, checkered pillow
(starred by a slight
imprint) where
the coal of a thumb
rests—my mother’s.
It’s all that’s left
from the plane crash.

What lengths of light,
what loopholes
and longitudes
of sound and time
have bent this thumb,
scurrying in its halo
of flame to reenter
here, home, lighting
on this pillow,
extending this gesture
of care, this caress.