Construction Literary Magazine

Fall 2020

Three Poems

Three Poems

Photograph via Flickr by Erlend S.

O steepled world,

Let there be wild licorice firecrackering yellow,
greenheartful middle sheltering the tiniest sparrows,
dandelion stars seeding the air. This morning I saw

a man with fir trees
inked on the flesh of each calf, two trees walking
the parched earth, & on the hill’s top, a tai chi

master arcing slow blessings over us––young
woman climbing in a faded apron, infant
fastened to chest, gray-bearded man who used to be

fast. O city that waters desert, dry these cries,
wash my crumbs to the sea, & open my
lips that my words may declare your glory.

My To-Do’s

• do not include brain surgery,
• pop of rain,
• hiss of match striking
• a grainy page––
• 29 lines of turquoise,
• thin margin of magenta. No,
• my list wants to know
• will you
• rescue her exiled soul,
• travel to Macedonia,
• whirl her palpable human
• on your apricot kitchen floor? There
• was once a pair
• of eagles, injured &
• separated & when they were
• brought together, it was as if
• they had never failed
• the wild. The female is
• fierce, refuses to check off
• any possibility
• that doesn’t
• insist: Love,
• always fly
• by my side. Love,
• kindly arrive
• soon. Love, will you
• make me a bride
• again? Answers always:
• I do.

Birds of Paradise

Because you will not remember this day,

as if torn from my notebook and tossed

into the elevator that climbs you silently through

the roof of the building, listen to ceiling opening

to sky, a blue such as you’ve never tasted,

soft around the throat, a flock of swallows

winging out. Anyone could see it was always West

we’d settle home. Somewhere more Chevy to the levy

than lonely street of desire, somewhere green

palms rustle snow. We’d join a triangle of birds, the far

left tip. Mourning dove flutters herself years down

the track, a promise of orange blossom breathed into lavender

lungs. The fact is we are all in it for the trees, je t’aime, ma petit
choux, je t’aime.  When the beak opens, place these words gently in the mouth

and sing.