“To the Best” by Anna Keeler

We sit on the precipice of

Heaven and pollution; you hand

Me an empty box and promise

Desultory protection.

 

Our bodies, superimposed

From two different tangles of lake water

And thesaurus words didn’t match, didn’t

Hold hands, didn’t even look at the same

Edge of the mid-day.

 

Maybe I didn’t like you,

Just the clunk of your foot against

Wood and dock, the southeast tilt

Of your noise, the birds you drew

 

To us with the breadcrumbs you kept

Tucked in your pockets

for prosperity. Time ways, never

Did bring us any luck.

 

Just birds and algae, wrapped around

Each other, mocking the gap at our hips

Where attachment should be because even

Animals know when their egg must be laid.

 

We scared them off as quick as we drew

Them in, because they were smarter than me

And didn’t want to be a graphite impression

Soon to be shown to radio static.

Nature evading, I only had the water to look at

Because its lap was velvet

And its voice didn’t implode my ear canals

And one bird stayed; so small, so dark.

 

I’d never seen a more perfect crow,

Feathers gleaming like it’d been dipped in

Peacock ore, with a beak that is tarnished,

Broken against stagnant air.

 

I called and it didn’t fly away.

You used to be that nice to me,

We’d sit here with milk skin,

Library bound minds,

 

And the insurance of that empty space

between us. This sinkhole is your

Orlando, but this was never mine.

This box is mine. It’s the best that

I could ever get.

 


Anna Keeler is a poet and fiction writer living in Winter Park, FL. Her work has been published or is upcoming with Poets.org, Cleaver Magazine, Vending Machine Press, The Writing Disorder, The Yellow Chair Review, and more.

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