Register Tuesday | June 25 | 2019

The Encantadas

Morning Glories: Poems to kick-start your working day

he brings them forcefully to mind, like a collection
of lurid book jackets seen through plastic covers, waking him
at the age of ten or so to the shaggy dog tales

of sex and mortality. The mortal sense grew in him
in time to follow the last measured months of his father’s breath,
dying away in a genetic foul-up as inherently funny as a fat man

falling down a long flight of stairs. No use to inveigh, once
the tumble starts, against the cruel edge of each step and riser, or
the malign comedian who put them there. Fifty-four now (then?)

he’s worn that reflex so deeply in, he can only mark fall or loss
with the observation that he, himself, in his dad’s words, seems fine so
far, shipshape and Bristol fashion; much as his abandoned god must

tire quickly of the flocks of particular sparrows, falling too fast
to count or care; finally with an earthquake of a shrug to bless
the lot, R.I.P. where they lie; or like the winter sparrow

in one window out the other, back into the storm, a warmth
briefly given, then darkness fore and aft. (Archie the owl
loved sparrows too; when he swallowed one headfirst, his eyes grew

impenetrably dark.)

Excerpt from The Encantadas
(Conundrum Press)