Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsFall 2019  Vol. 18 No. 2
an online journal of literature and the arts
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Nothing like doing the wrong thing.
Stealing into the sea-view studio, my anxious excitement 
tastes like a twelve-year-old’s first contraband drag—
never outgrow it. Greed for experience isn’t sin.
Condemning your own mind is chasing a faster fly
when you could read or sleep, work with it.
Watch its myriad eyes seek patterns on North Atlantic’s skin,
examine the fine head on a beer made centuries ago.
I overhear two painters murmuring outside the window,
but why grieve a suicide one never knew?

Field of milk cows, field of sheep, a buzzing something
wants more than this famine-emptied land can give.
The insect is as much a mystery alive
as lives of those dead farmers ruined on slopes
inherited from Celts. Circles within circles scratched
on rocks. Texel lambs lean against summer’s pale long day.
Tucked in unholy ground, unchristened infants
resurfaced in a sibling’s build or fate. Without meaning to,
most of us die. Kay’s mother lost her breath at tea, 
Dad his jawline, his left ear, a decade. Cemetery’s full
of the flock who left on someone, something else’s clock.

James, you’re watching from the room’s rim on an evening
when our friends the dancers weave a moving ring.
You’ll leave too soon, by your own hand. 
And, knowing you, we’ll grieve.  

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