Andy Stallings

 

PARADISE

 

This street, your ghost, a
stillness beside the fence. I
learned it all from plants, the
music of paradise, the tunes
of the ditch, the bitter flowers
donned their uniforms and
spilled it. These slick fishing
river birds, these egrets and
Louisiana pelicans, they float
outside my rote white
tragicomic. My children, my
fenced abstract, my
conceptual Connecticut.
Select the smudge that suits
you. I remember only my
balconies, mapped against
someone’s open ocean.
Unlive it. The apples and the
orchard express neither
friendship nor freedom. I
can’t step from this brain and
blossom, after all.

 

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