By Tyler Kline


That girl who watched her father burn cigarettes
on cattle & later saw him cry in the barn – take her
some place soft. Some place where the salt blocks turn
to cheap boxed wines the color of a kid’s rusting wagon,
where there is no memory of a time without water
when wives whispered if we have taken too much from rivers
why haven’t we become lush in return?
Play her
a song on your phone, one where a man’s voice
trembles to match a clarinet warping out of tune
making everything in the field sound like a pond melting.
Now kiss her, but only during the moment where
one horse remembers & the other scratches for wings.
Kiss her so your chests are no longer dark woods
but box-springs breaking vinyl in a Chevrolet. Whisper the name
Honeybeast so she will call you Moon. Understand when you kiss,
you are two beaks filling a guitar with string & hay, one asking
the way to name a crow & the other folding the wings.
Understand that the crow’s a dove & might not last.
Walk her home. Know the lantern might burn you both
before the dove settles back to the husk you lay in her hair.

Tyler Kline is the author of the forthcoming chapbook As Men Do Around Knives (ELJ Publications, 2016). A Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, his work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Adroit Journal, Radar Poetry, and Winter Tangerine Review. He works on an organic vegetable farm and studies Secondary English Education at the University of Delaware.

© 2015