“October black birds and cornfields” by Linda Storm

Because I am so happy for you and the life you made
beautiful from the scraps of what we were given. What

we thought were scraps but maybe was our precious
inheritance. I can see it, the guy on Antiques Roadshow —

the blond twin — saying, “This is a national
treasure,” and opening a forged metal box of red maple

leaves, tart apples, snow sky, the calls of Canada geese
winging in formation. Getting the hell out of there. That place Continue reading


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There’s a candy wrapper and an unused match
on the bathroom floor. A covert picnic,
abandoned. I’ve come here to press my face
against the cool white tile. Summer is ruthless

today in its death throes. Where hurricanes can’t
touch land, the earth quakes. Where the flood water
doesn’t rush in, the earth burns. How
should I reinvent myself in this exodus

from one season into the next? This liminal space
where even the mirror is a blank uncertainty.
I travel with less baggage these days, casting
ballast off like sin. Even my bones

grow lighter. I should be densely built
for the long winter; I am the dry ligaments
of a skeletal wing. A thing of parchment,
exhalation, the cellular memory of flight.

Danger comes easy


The best beer I ever drank was a Sol tallboy
from a styrofoam cooler in a neighborhood park
in Merida. It was Carnival in Mexico
but that particular block party could have been simply
someone’s birthday. Still, a teenage boy
sold me the can, ice cold, almost

frozen. There was a parade that day — floats
for hours blasting pop music. Drag queens
in tall wigs and short skirts threw kisses
like candy. You wouldn’t think there’d be
so many queens in Mexico, or maybe it’s no
surprise. And ordinary, too, how the police Continue reading

By a hare

A retelling of an Asian rabbit myth, excerpted from a longer poetry cycle on which I’m working. 


1830s-era French natural history print

Black-naped hare, meadow creature, keeps his language
secret. No one around here speaks rabbit. When the beggar
asked for alms, the monkey gathered fruit, the otter brought fish
and the jackel stole a pot of milk. The rabbit only knew
how to harvest grass, so it threw itself on the cooking fire.

But the beggar transformed himself into Sakra, ruler of the Devas
and rewarded the rabbit for his selflessness by placing him
on the moon. It was better than death by immolation,
but it was far away, and cold at night, and there was no grass
at all. And no one spoke rabbit there, either.

May (triptych)


Countess Szechenyi at Twin Oaks garden party, ca. May, 1926. Photo from modern


In the ink-blue dusk
when everyone hurries home
the flower moon blooms.


The garden trembles
as a thousand crickets sing
summer’s arrival.


Do the church bells ring
this time each night? Sound travels,
the doors are open.