Quietly now a mouse in the garden
that has come to mourn with me
or bite at every insect twisting
in this heat as you lie close & uncaring
in the army of the common housefly.
Let it be known that in death
you harrowed in love & in so doing
traded your ears for blackened ones,
your crown the shade of a new moon.
Let this spell be known as the fortune
of a missing tortoise, brutal limbs
& wounds of multiples. Then, to soften
alongside the watermelon rinds
on this blighted day, your body
presently absent including the mouse
I have startled into darkness. Who will
help me love the castor bean tree now?
Which of these plants will speak for you?
Ignore me while I weave between rows,
swatting at the light I have chased into
the corner of your makeshift shed still full
of your fortune, the abundant secret
of mouse droppings. Meanwhile, stay
dressed—help me be decent. Come away
from dreams, far from streets—quick,
arise in one piece! There is shade.
Even the sun could not spoil you.
Copyright © 2017 by Khaty Xiong. Used with permission of the author.
When the sea has devoured the ships,
And the spires and the towers
Have gone back to the hills.
And all the cities
Are one with the plains again.
And the beauty of bronze,
And the strength of steel
Are blown over silent continents,
As the desert sand is blown—
My dust with yours forever.
When folly and wisdom are no more,
And fire is no more,
Because man is no more;
When the dead world slowly spinning
Drifts and falls through the void—
My light with yours
In the Light of Lights forever!
This poem is in the public domain.
The yards grow ghosts. Between the limbs and wings,
bleached street-lit things, I’m best at moving on.
Hunt-heavy, gray, slunk overlow like so
much weight got in the way, my shape’s the shape
of something missed, flash-pop or empty frame.
Though you could say I’ve made a game of this,
and though midtrickery it might be true,
when evening lingers in the key of leaving
my senses swoon. A synonym for stay,
I’m always coming back. I chew through traps.
I love whatever doesn’t get too close.
Copyright © 2015 by Caki Wilkinson. Used with permission of the author.