Back to Issue Eighteen.

wild quarry



All the empire of nostalgia needs
is another person who cares

too much about birds.

In order to achieve
a certain American version of dignity,

I pull the hood over my head
because I don’t even know

whose falcon I am

or what hunting

today is,
today is

a tunnel,
a tunnel

for following
my breath around.

White sky like

the voice of our hoarse Lord.

Skinny trees like

some ribs the wind discarded.

I think all I want and then some.
I don’t know what I want

is the most honest thing I can say

to no one,
moving around the neighborhood

trying but failing
to outflank the divine.

At the top of the list of things
I’m not going to do today,

I’m not going to lie down

in this or that dead garden like a child,

parrot the word grave
a couple hundred times.

Jeffrey Morgan is the author of Crying Shame (BlazeVOX [Books], 2011). His recent poems have appeared, or will soon appear, in Copper Nickel, The Kenyon Review Online, Ninth Letter, Pleiades, Poetry Northwest, Rattle, and West Branch, among others. You can sometimes find him at

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