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Wednesday, August 07, 2019


by Ariana D. Den Bleyker

You cannot sow leaves back to a tree,
unpluck the plume of an eagle.
When words begin to rot the tongue,
those words cannot be swallowed back.

There is a dish to hold the sea,
a brassiere to hold the sun,
a compass for the galaxy,
a voice to wake the dead.

But this is the silence between us.
And this is why there will be no nest.
Because this is a relationship
between a bird & a gun.

Shots burst out into a crowd;
and, we saw the red-hot glint,
watching & crying & asking
that question over again.

Talons fall from the sky,
settle, & turn to rust. I hate you,
I think, as you shoot me
to death with a rifle in my face:

Born to pull the trigger.
Born to light the match.
Born to see the blood.
Born to steal the hope.

You feel rage & there are bodies
on the floor, me, dying,
almost dead, knees stuck
together with feathers & blood.

One gun to hold the bullets;
one finger to pull the trigger.
Truth wears everyday clothes.
Tufts crimson as sunset pass us by.

Ariana D. Den Bleyker is a Pittsburgh native currently residing in New York’s Hudson Valley where she is a wife and mother of two. When she’s not writing, she’s spending time with her family and every once in a while sleeps. She is the author of three collections, including Wayward Lines (RawArt Press, 2015), the chapbooks Forgetting Aesop (Bandini Books, 2011), Naked Animal (Flutter Press, 2012), My Father Had a Daughter (Alabaster Leaves Publishing, 2013), Hatched from Bone (Flutter Press, 2014), On Coming of Age and Stitches(Origami Poems Project, 2014), On This and That (Bitterzoet Press, 2015), Strangest Sea (Porkbelly Press, 2015), Beautiful Wreckage (Flutter Press, 2015), Unsent (Origami Poems Project, 2015), The Peace of Wild Things (Porkbelly Press, 2015), Knee Deep in Bone (Hermeneutic Chaos Press, 2015), Birds Never Sing in Caves (Dancing Girl Press, 2016), Cutting Eyes from Ghosts (Blood Pudding Press, 2017), Scars are Memories Bleeding Through (Yavanika Press, 2018), A Bridge of You (Origami Poems Project, 2019), Even the Statue Weeps (Dancing Girl Press, forthcoming 2019), and Confessions of a Mother Hovering in the Space Between Where Birds Collide with Windows (Ghost City Press, forthcoming 2019). She is also the author of three crime novellas, a novelette, and an experimental memoir. She hopes you'll fall in love with her words.