Matador Review

A Quarterly Missive of Alternative Concern

Dalton day


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.