I wasn't ignoring your text, I was hollering with blue visions
of all the times I may have seen a bird I'd already seen before,
but had no way of knowing it, but it's more than
that, it has to be, it has to be my mom telling me that each
cardinal I see is my grandmother, & she is telling me
as if she'd been told the word doubt was an animal
so elusive that it wouldn't even be worth it to try to see it,
& by she I mean my mother, not my grandmother,
because my grandmother died, & I haven't been quite
the same since, see, how I hold my hand up to the window,
only to be told the window is still a few inches in front of me,
& a few inches beyond that is, well, you know,
don't you, like you know how to describe it, like the weather,
like the moment you remember what it was you were
supposed to say, &, as if the moment were sweetened
by something out of your reach, you still have a chance to.
"radiation that november"
Not all of us are so lucky
as to have received the first x-ray,
to have said I have seen
my death. That's ok, just take
a second, look at this photo
of my dad watching
the ambivalent sun corset itself
into evening, which is when
the jewels come out.
Like, real jewels. My collarbone,
I can see it now, a fossil
being dug up by a child who has
no way to know how much
we wanted this—this
whole thing—to work. Very
much, if you were wondering,
as I am, eating a not-great lunch
among the company
of strangers, a breeze, & so on.
Dalton Day is the author of the collections Exit, Pursued (Plays Inverse) & Interglacials (fog machine) & a recipient of a James A. Michener fellowship. His poems have appeared in The Offing, Shabby Doll House, and PANK, among others. He lives in Atlanta and has a little dog named Dot.