This tulle-and-taffeta prom dress of a morning makes promises it can’t keep.
A bird orange as
(analogy finds nothing in nature, counts to ten and goes searching for)
redemption or your new sweater
competes with the coral tree’s flower-seed for the free—
floating attention of a wandering eye and I tell my brother:
I am that bird.
He says: look yourself up in the guide and tell me what you are.
I reply: I am an orange-throated tanager.
He says: that’s unlikely, you’re nowhere near Peru, you’re
a finch or an oriole.
Indifferent to identity, I become a rose thorn and spy a finger
so this is how the spindle feels.
Patty Seyburn has published three books of poems: Hilarity (New Issues Press, 2009); Mechanical Cluster (Ohio State University Press, 2002); and Diasporadic (Helicon Nine Editions, 1998). Her poems are currently in Boston Review, DIAGRAM, and Hotel Amerika. She is an Assistant Professor at California State University, Long Beach and co-editor of “POOL: A Journal of Poetry”:http://www.poolpoetry.com.
The Periodic Table by Primo Levi.
View with a Grain of Sand by Wisława Szymborska.
The Moviegoer by Walker Percy.
Homepage photo via Flickr by Jason Taellious: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dreamsjung/3832248741