Stop Look Listen

tree circles 1

By Kelsey Bryan-Zwick

If a poet recites an opus
alone in the forest
do they make a noise
or is that like beating the odd
duck with a dead horse

The field guide for birds
is a recording of whistling
new fangled names
for trees and plants
all the jazz
of un-tenored saxophone

The French speaking Belgian
boy on the train from Germany
says Je parle l’anglais

A spoonful of honey
is really just bee vomit
mix it in hot tea
hummingbirds will drink
the Kool-Aid as long as
it’s Red Dye #9

These birth control pills
are chewable, taste like Pez
as per Alice be sure
to pack magnifying glass
read the fine print

That something is poetic
does not qualify it as poem

If today is anything
like this day bombs
are exploding somewhere
in the distance, you
can’t hear them, there
is a change in the air
pressure and all-sudden
urge to hold your breath

The hush in the night
signifies predator
mountain lion, tiger shark
grizzly bear, grey wolf
oh my

All my grandma’s recipes
include the instruction
by gosh and by golly

A trigger released
as taste bud
the spoon making
only so many rotations
per minute before
the texture is right

The other peas in my pod
have already written this
poem was made to dissolve
a solvent illusion craves
its own unnecessariness

The manual calls for
two parts metaphor
for every dose of reality
this hits hard
the sugar must be borrowed
the salt from the sea
nettles gathered from the
forest, alone in the night

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