New Work by Jamaal May

New poems by alumnus Jamaal May (poetry, ’11) appear online in Poetry:

There Are Birds Here

For Detroit

There are birds here,
so many birds here
is what I was trying to say
when they said those birds were metaphors
for what is trapped
between buildings
and buildings. No.

Continue reading online.

Per Fumum

(through smoke)

My mother became an ornithologist
when the grackle tumbled through barbecue smoke
and fell at her feet. Soon she learned
why singers cage birds; it can take weeks
to memorize a melody —
the first days lost as they mope
and warble a friendless note,
the same tone every animal memorizes
hours into breathing.

 

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