Leaves Blackened to Crows

Measure the days in gradients of fire
by the chorus of grasshoppers
who made this switchgrass home.

Keepers of the rust, the turning,
we choose one way or another. Or we are
chosen. Branches felled by lightning.

Strangers folded as letters about failure
under the heat of a too-near sun.

For every soft breeze through the pines,
a memory I’m trying to lose is
only a little bit dead. Mothbone. Amulet.

The last bee in a field, drinking deep
of all the nectar left, shining
like harvest. Frantic in the eyes.

Flames ripping across maps, the body as measure.
The hawk overhead is only keeping watch.


Braided Cento:
Jennifer K. Sweeney, Foxlogic Fireweed, The Backwaters Press, 2020
Meghan Sterling, These Few Seeds, Terrapin Books, 2021
Chelsea B. DesAutels, A Dangerous Place, Sarabande Books, 2021
Title is a line by Jennifer K. Sweeney