08.23.2019
Weekly poem on Trump Presidency

 

MICHELLE BITTING

Flight Patterns

~for Hyacinth Young                                                       

                                                                                            

The sky cracks itself in two
and yolk runs renegade
in thick yellow rivers. I can’t get
enough of it: morning,
eggs on Fiesta Ware,
the sunny buds broken
and our tongues pumping higher—swing seat
to near-summer sky,
my coffee dark and gurgling
as this last pale son
trots off to finish high school.

I watch him go
and feel like St Francis
on sensory overload,
avalanched by jasmine
in a granite bird bath,
vanilla delirium, sharp
in its sweetness, saint statue
anchored dead center
like a clock shaft  
under petal rapture,
like the moon pulled its floral sheets
to chin and past, masking sight.

I strain a strong brew,
pour the boiling fountain down
and crisscross applesauce
before a talk show screen
where a bee gleams on the brooch
of a favorite filmmaker, his lapel
sporting my same spirit creature:
wings and a sapphire shimmer
as the audience cheers his brilliance,  
this buzz of potential.  

I sat on a field once
of manicured green
watching single lines of white graduates
file to where certificates inked
on tea-stained scrolls waited,
signed by solemn headmasters
and priests, our next-level keepers.
As a child

I was privy
to certain off-color jokes
whispered between members
at elite coastal clubs. Their skin
matched the sand. Serpentine
berms made lucent at night,
the moon’s shed light
rippling shore fronts
into rows of tiny transparent wings.  

I’m learning to peel them away,
examine corporeal stitching,
how machinery signals
an upper hand,
a whipping up
to un-angelic heights
with condescending views.
I’m learning to promote removal,  

how marks left behind
are part of even-ing the field,
if that's ever possible.
At least we can acknowledge it.
At least we can let it in:
the historical scoring
of how many subjugated backs.
The wonder
at what might bloom
from wounds made right.

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Michelle Bitting won the 2018 Fischer Poetry Prize, Quarter After Eight’s 2018 Robert J. DeMott Short Prose Contest, and a fourth collection of poetry, Broken Kingdom won the 2018 Catamaran Prize and was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best of 2018. Her third collection is The Couple Who Fell to Earth (C & R Press), named to Kirkus Reviews' Best of 2016. She has poems published in The American Poetry Review, Narrative, The Los Angeles Review, Vinyl Poetry, Plume, Tupelo Quarterly, AJP, American Literary Review, Thrush, and others. Poems have appeared on Poetry Daily and Verse Daily, and have been nominated for Pushcart and Best of the Net prizes. Michelle holds an MFA in Poetry and a PhD in Mythological Studies. She is a Lecturer in Poetry and Creative Writing at Loyola Marymount University and Film Studies at Ashford U. www.michellebitting.com

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