—for Tony Fitzpatrick
That forest that goes
unseen for its own trees
is full of mirrors, too:
American mirrors baring
We like whatever we notice once
we dare to re-open
But those dark unknowns we still fear
run wild through
And in the proud American way
bullets whiz by
We just stand here staring.
Frozen. Limbs stuffed.
Black Eyes Everywhere
The neighborhood crows know
something they’re not telling us
and they won’t shut up about it.
I was that way
those two years I lived in Ohio—
polluting the air
with talk it would’ve been
impossible for anybody to walk.
The young and dumb do that.
Not just birds.
Not just terrified Midwesterners.
Idiots everywhere have
trouble keeping their own secrets.
They can’t wait to escape, to explode
from bare limbs
into a black cloud.
Brian Beatty’s jokes, poems and stories have appeared in numerous print and online publications, including Conduit, elimae, The Evergereen Review, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, The Quarterly, and Seventeen. He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Photo credit: shannontanski, morguefile.com