Allison Smythe
Allison Smythe
Revision of Terms

Delete gorgeous, hunger, quiver
and say instead: tongue, hook,
swimming. Change night to blind
faith, memory to arsonist and lonely
to kernel of corn caught in the curve
of the can. Put a period after
The End as if

Days After My Cousin Flies

Everywhere people teeter on ledges, new mown
     grass beneath their feet.

Amber capped meringue of days, holy razzle
     dazzle praised, the shutter

clicks, the child writes To Uncle Smith in cursive
     on the back—Feb.9

This is the happiest day of my life, too young to guess
     it might be wholly true.

The world is emptied daily of moments caught
     in photographs strangers sell

at yardsales for a dime. Canadian geese repeat
     their paths through autumn

darkened skies. Tomatoes still lie greening on the vine.
     Seconds shutter by.

Litter of a life refused. The chrysanthemums are dying.
     A dozen dreams I glimpse

and lose before the day gains traction. She took
     a swan dive from the edge;

I’ve not yet dreamt of flying.