John Darr is a poet, teacher and music critic from Richmond, Virginia (USA).
He is currently an MFA candidate at Wichita State University.

fear of avalanche

pushed into, thrown around the backseat
and my mom was 17. my skin born polished.

at homecoming, with my pet
rock box heart on my sleeves,

you hot pursuit my bodyrock,
hands shaking as you chain me.

summer i swam your war on drugs,
washed to the island your white flag hung.

each night the beach sunsets my s.o.s.
and no matter what pattern my grains take i cannot stop your drift away.

as you rev your hummer into the waves i kick up
through the cracks in your windows

to beg you:
i am old. but i am moss-loved.

i kno u sea lion

hammock houseiknowsowell
your hang, your foot nibble
seasalted sand soul walk, where sticks well draw
pages from the sand, the
sand from the water bed, the
water from the tide
tuck the tide from gravity
hugged tween the moon and fisher
boy fromthewailing air
wellspringleapyes.i am
sorry as your sea lion,
as blue as your moon me. tide come in

she laid the walls
of the well
to sing for them.
sticks woven
in the wellstone cracks to sip
rasp of the soul's wind these reed
voices, these pitched whistles rico
chet the angles of stiff bristled broom-swept
rain straight all ways.
for bends she fills the well with round notes,
the bucket's rope shivering when it grows cold.

when her daughters fly out
their skinfat skids over the stone,
grey flippers shed to feather
weight from drought.
the well funnels her curdled
yelps into the gaps between well
stones and deep reflecting stars and three queens
called to the well edge
they found her snapped flippers beating blows
the low moan that walls sing when tide goes out

roadkill and other cradled baby brothers

slip me your sung palms in tune
ing fork tongs i squat
surgeon bedside your road's red arm

i fireman carry your
paper trail wedding dress — your
pillow hardens to a headstone for you.

i unfold from my wallet our gaslight prayer:

stumble your nudges to that halloween-beaten black
kitten who tookthetarget

please slow your rain
dance, this thin silver line cups tea leaf secrets,
your fogged redwood rides to grandmother's.

you breathe winter grey back into my air.
please don't feel sorry for leavingso soon
my new moon

evacuateyourcryingmanatees fromthesechlorinated everglades
you playroom sovereign
ball pit dug deep in our hidden garden.

on the leaf-littered trampoline we bleed
until our palms kiss blacksmith heat
and mingle in our windblown missing posters

i pyre polaroids beside the highway
red shift to an asteroid belt

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