SPOTLIGHT: & They Lived by LA Felleman

The Bravery of Bird Brains

Tanager poppy easily spotted
Tropical flash flitting through serene ravine
Your risky flamboyance is puzzling
As if solely a somber foil eyes you
Not the Red-tailed hawk floating over us
Nor the Great-horned owl dropping from above
Is your gamble to be observed like mine?
Vulnerable for a chance to allure her

your folks fix my favorites

we are not the
holding hands
table grace kind

better to bless
with silence

I circle the seats
count out four brown plates

you say you smell
moldy soap
sickly cat spray

clasping on signs
of decline

I set striped linens
sort out silverware

they debate bake
argue sear
raise temperatures

stewing in old

I place the glasses
pour out private thanks


Your mother’s pesto is inimitable.

Her basil grows behind the house. Your brother insists it tastes like cat piss because your dad swore
it’s where the cats shit. Nonetheless she harvests. Both cats are dead, so
all is well now.

Your basil grows in raised beds by
the no-longer-Baptist church big curving leaves forgotten or unwanted too high off the ground
for cats to reach.

I chop together your rescue mission feeling very MasterChef very Food Channel
testing for a blend of green Spring bite
which you delivered from abandonment
because you sorrow over all forms
of neglect, waste, and rot.

Upon meeting me at the bus stop

Walking down the ice
Face masked in cold
Treading careful solid steps
We wed our way
For better against the worst
You left the warmth
To offer your hand
Though you cannot see the glow
I am beaming
Veiled behind blue neoprene


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