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



We brought our children
to the cows at the dairy farm.
In one barn, calves chewed
on strings still holding
together the gate, and beyond,
in the dark pool of a field,
their mothers heavy with milk
raised themselves out of the mud
and roamed the blond grass
in newly-caked boots, their
mouths pruned from saltlick.
Before leaving, we found
a pen filled with ones nearly
grown, their young square ears
pinned with yellow tags, markered
on each were their names, Heaven
and Velvet, which I read to our son
as he sifted through straws of hay
matted in the dirt, found one
the color of bone and lifted it
nervously to Heaven’s
pale tongue.