Self Portrait as Everything that Rises

macaroon sparrow, rococo finch
the painted birds don’t fear
flame, they waft
on pillowy heat
peck the curling canvas
   with their sugar beaks
and cock their heads
at futurity
  
outside the frame the gold
coffered ceiling
the real birds
   the pelican and his
ominous wingspan
the vulture’s
ugly dignity
officious hummingbird darning needle head
   circle and weave
and in their arrangement
draw the eye upwards
to the center
   where we all raise crowns raise sweet bay
leaves to crown our own victory
  
as if suggesting
a greater hand
a composition to the clouds’ progress
across a sky dotted with billboards
  
as if to suggest
the birds are the birds regardless
Tender Trapper
Rebecca Hazelton
Hazelton_cover

Tender Trapper

Rebecca Hazelton

Floating Wolf Quarterly Cover_wolf