Kara Lyon, 10/12



It is said the Irish have a fortune-telling gut,
that tickles you awake from the inside
on overcast mornings-
little beaks pecking the linings
of the most stubborn of sleepers.
I was already home from work
the morning the call came
telling me you were gone.
Rose fast out of bed – ready-
as if wings and feather
would soar out of me
and out to meet you,
fly you home,
but no down
erupted from my lips,
just one elongated moan,
a painful caw streaking
through the bedroom.
Outside the window,
startled by the noise,
a flapping of wings
trails my sorrow where
I cannot follow,
shedding a shadow of quills
so their sister does not cry alone.





The swamp ashes

all bowed to ashes[i]

that summer we couldn’t keep our cool.

The earth baked beneath our feet

like bread that wouldn’t rise,

fell inward with cracks.

Grass became kindle.

The rose bush spread her legs out

across the lawn,

selfish and provocative,

stealing all the water.

The mourning doves kept losing their feathers.

I picked them up thinking they were omens,

you yelled,

said I brought disease into the house.

Out in the yard alone,

I wept for three months straight.

It wasn’t enough to turn the leaves

green again; the first match

sent the lawn up in flames.

We watched, dry-eyed,

no more water left to put it out.

We lingered, scorched,

embers dying at our feet,

the darkness sighing-

there is nothing left to save.



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