by John Sibley Williams
One crow, then another. Soon
the lines that light our houses
will snap under feather & caw.
Our little empires gone dark
& without the TV: oarless, windless.
& I don’t know if my son will still
recognize me in him anymore.
We all have mirrors & heavy
curtains to cover up the mirrors,
strangers within rock throwing
distance from our houses to call
neighbor, godparent, rival.
The staples that hold her belly together
implies rupture as much as birth.
When our power returns will we
even remember its absence? More
blue glow & scripted stories. Well-lit
kitchen. Dinner & dessert & again.
Crows moved on to the eaves.
This brittle little body in my arms
I still cannot make a temple.
John Sibley Williams is the author of As One Fire Consumes Another (Orison Poetry Prize 2019), Skin Memory (Backwaters Prize 2019), Disinheritance, and Controlled Hallucinations. An eleven-time Pushcart nominee, John is the winner of numerous awards, including the Philip Booth Award, American Literary Review Poetry Contest, Phyllis Smart-Young Prize, The 46er Prize, Nancy D. Hargrove Editors’ Prize, Confrontation Poetry Prize, and Laux/Millar Prize. He serves as editor of The Inflectionist Review and works as a literary agent. Previous publishing credits include: The Yale Review, Midwest Quarterly, Sycamore Review, Prairie Schooner, The Massachusetts Review, Poet Lore, Saranac Review, Atlanta Review, TriQuarterly, Columbia Poetry Review, Mid-American Review, Poetry Northwest, Third Coast, and various anthologies. He lives in Portland, Oregon.