Maura Way

Sty

There’s so much time to be swinish:
both to forage and lift mortgages. I

will succumb to depression if no 
one speaks my language. Even 

the company of cats cannot keep
me from the memories of lipstick.

When I go feral you will fear my
prolific teats. I was born pregnant

in a peach orchard. The poke spills
open a muddy cornucopia of pearls.

Wall Fish

An august body is made 
for the pursuit of certain utopias. 
Wisconsin itself must await most
mollusk delivery. Still their land-snails 
are not without a love dart. Consider 
me a viable option! When the first 
escargot farm flooded, generations 
settled new islands. It began as a dream. 
Venerable feelers seek out calcium in bone, 
fortify shells, then grow themselves for some 
beauty or cuisine. The product is now very 
highly regulated and mostly canned.

Hubbub

The behemoth became
the hippopotamus, the
cataract a waterfall. My
desert bloomed and then
exploded. How’s yours?
The back-scratcher is
made of bamboo. Panda
fodder grows rhizome
wise. Don’t ever give the
dog rhubarb or vice-versa.
My ketosis will save us all.

Feral

My pigeon is English. He wears a monocle
and always carries an umbrella. Not kosher

like the dove, his juggernauts rolled over
the devoted. I’m in the business of being

part of this kit. See how I hootenanny all
the live long: prefix, root, suffix, and Bob’s

your uncle? The bird has an iridescent
chest, and if you ignore the mythology,

he’s quite beautiful. I’ll make them squabs
savvy chop-chop, no matter what you say.

Intrinsic Luminosity

The birds used to notice
me. The dog star. Former
children develop shark eyes
if you ask them to read or
write. I don’t have the heart
for it. I just put on a movie.
I used to create hand-outs
but these are obsolete. They
want to pretend to read in
other ways. I wish them luck.
I’ve heard that college has
changed so no one really
needs my kind of preparation
anymore. Send the links. 
These oblivious orioles 
seem to ignore my once 
robust comings and goings.

Fussy Cut

I want to already know 
how to quilt. A confused
mourning dove slowly 
spins on the blade of a 
porch ceiling fan. Marcus 
Aurelius, keep me from 
the ranks of the insane. 
It’s always just a bird, 
never a visiting soul. 
Contain yourself.

Tesserae

When yaks get scared, they
panic. It takes a toll on some
of the herd. As a young adult,

I did not think of remaking my
world. I wanted to fit in, to
pretend my way to invisibility

or at very least be a helpful bit
of bright broken glass composing
a shaggy fur shirt, a smooth horn.

Lady Cardinal

rule the world magnanimously 
for me. I’ve gone gray and have
no face mask. He fed you seeds
atop a dogwood tree. Seven states
strong, I trust both your executive
function and spiritual instinct. You
earned your bright biretta crushing
twigs until pliable, creating bends
around your body. Pushing them into
cup shape with hops. My song is 
mimesis. What better could I do?

Originally from Washington, DC, I live in North Carolina, by way of Boise, Idaho, in the U.S. ANOTHER BUNGALOW (Press 53), my debut collection, was released in 2017. My work has recently appeared (or is forthcoming) in: Poet Lore, Hotel Amerika, Puerto del Sol, and Eratio. I have been a schoolteacher for over 20 years, most recently at a small Quaker high school.

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