by Brandy McKenzie
Geese shatter the ceiling sky calls
like sharp cuts in the day criss-crossed
and sadistic. It’s just another passage
like so many I’ve witnessed
annual loss annual movement annual
homage to the memory of
forgotten hear this: gunfire in the
distance I now think though
I used to believe in the reports of careless machines
the romance of men in denim being
callous with levers but now the randomness
of it all overwhelms me: who could allow
things to slip & break like that who
could shatter the rhythms & call themselves
a man? So now, geese over gunfire,
grown deliberate intentional breakage
may never the two connect & I listen
to the smaller birds chirp merrily, endlessly
above all the rest happy chatter well
fed, that punctuated explosion of bass
cracking beneath in the belly of the valley
like a whip, stern and unpredictable
as a skipped piston something fires
Consider the lillies
Fly corpses fallen in corners:
there has to be a word for this:
litter, detritus, mournful dead even
when we forget or refuse to mourn.
So much death: even the chickens forage
through leafmold for scavenge, and we
feed on what hens discard, the fresh laid,
none so bright, rich, or warm. This world scattered,
your home. Chaos. Polarization.
The slow shift of foundations set atop
spring-fed ground so everything leans
off plumb, water-soaked floor swollen
upward, the maple-laden hill shifting down.
Everything is impermanent, my friend: you know this.
You salvaged lilies today, unbent
them from the weight of rising morning glory,
buried them in a new, safe home. Your skin
is lily white, eyes blue as the sky showing through
that hole in the roof where the tree came down.
Keep laying the bricks, let the weather in.
It’s all you can do. The land as crooked as you.