blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsFall 2010  Vol. 9  No. 2
print version


You’d love to walk in a new direction
where incoming data doesn’t exceed processing speed,
be clear of the drunken boat
heaped-up with friends on one side
of the issue, then the other—
the quieter place, not shielding any other wishes.

Yesterday, most of the fruit was picked off the tree.
The remainder falls at odd hours, night and day.

A chicken goes bad. A man and a woman toss it in
with the slippery two-week-old scalloped potatoes, and
a bloodied, uncalculated infant; their fear never able
to open its eyes. Refused = refuse,
bonded with a yellow plastic, calibrated tie.

Too much need, the breeder thinks—to have a woman,
considering the ten pit bulls in the whelping box, and
all the weaning necessary
before he can even think of snagging a sale.

An act of temptation,
a boy’s body. “Do this in Remembrance of me.”
He wanted them
to call him Father. Afterward,
Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.

Rocking before the back window of your house
where the sun comes up,

you catch sight of the shafted wing of a thin yellow bird, then

the red-capped head of a boy leaping off a sanitation truck,
a spanking-new, no-noise removal system.  end

return to top