You are tracking a veery
you realize you have always been
after the singing near the excellent sea
excruciating reflection of the sun
on the water & you staring
at an oblique tree after a trill—
The sea never mattered. Your friend
last night said the coast was the only
reason she could stand as she stood
under a tree smoking, & you looked
behind her at a grafted branch
braced & tied to a driftwood splint
as if it could heal
or maybe since it never will.
You aren’t listening,
Listening never mattered, only
standing under a broken limb
as she talked about some other boy.
Somehow you all manage to be friends
though she used to get blitzed
& kiss you. Never sober.
You love her. You love veeries. inchworms.
Why? The bird illuminating the tree
the bug folding & pressing until
if wind conditions, if travel plans,
the weather cooperating just right.
Then the veery bolts over the sound,
unimpressive to look at, sure,
but tugging long after you lose sight.
Joey Gould is a poet, produce clerk, & educator living in a town called Hopedale. He is a longstanding contributor to Mass Poetry & Mass Leap efforts, writing for Masspoetry.org, leading workshops for Student Day of Poetry events, & helping to coordinate every Massachusetts Poetry Festival since 2011. You'll probably bump into him if you're headed to a Mass Audubon sanctuary.
Imagine planting a garden. Imagine planting a garden of only yellow tulips. You love yellow tulips, the dusky smiles, stems’ green neutrality. Yellow tulips are your favorite. So mild.
His head was an apple
chest proud, deadman's float
while rows of parents looked on
with drowsy interest
His ghost was with me that morning
Wandering round my room
While I tried to write,
Lifting the corners of my laundry,
Making the dust dance in the light.
They do so quicken
to warn don’t they?
‘specially those that
have never dared or
worse, but sadly, onced.
Here I am wearing June on my fingers,
earrings on my ankles, skinny dipping
in a public pool regardless of awe-struck
children, writing a note between gillyflowers,
slurping breakfast on the ice veranda, braiding
lavender though it’s long been brown.
You are in a new house. It is your fifth birthday.
The Charles River shushes your tantrums,
infrequent as they have become. The moon moth
is an introvert. Her wings light up the night like limes
but she prefers her Sycamore hollow.
Lay your head down to sleep with word for word transcripts of murder trials still ringing in your ears. One thousand stories from neighbors of lawless men. Their mouths open like baby blackbirds spewing out ink, instead of tiny songs, a river into the corridors of the dead.
1. For instance, forsythia catch April on fire and this is when babies learn the color yellow and adolescent girls carry their new chests like medals, momentarily. By May, the fuss has diffused and branches shiver without flower while dumb daffodils gab and lilacs diva the garden.
Rainbows in a puddle reflect the triangle over Kenmore.
I took a shower with a boy, we poured
parabens through our threads. In some places
the tap water catches.
He’s the most amazing &
already they take him, fate
beautys up the mirror, wonders
how ever one gets used to tighter.