The Sublime Before (Is Someone’s After)

Red-throated hummingbirds spar above

the magnolia. Upwind, something grilled.

The dogs are still alive, yap at whitetail in

the cornfield. The rooster hasn’t chased us

down the driveway, so no one got fed up,

loaded the shotgun. Father’s heart doesn’t

yet float on a pillow of fat. The miscarriage

is years off. Summers, we bleach hair with

lemon, are warm as gold on skin, haven’t

glimpsed the shapes we’ll be hammered in.

Copyright © 2018 by Luiza Flynn-Goodlett. Used with the permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in Quarterly West, Issue 93.