Today's poem is by Kyle McCord

I Write You This on a Train Named for an Endangered Bird

There are ways a story can't begin. Like pitting your protagonist
against an all-knowing, all-seeing jaguar spirit.
Or, worse, against an abstraction—like immorality or human unhappiness.
It could be argued that Hamlet's vengeance was doomed from the outset
because you can't fight for the dead, only against the living
who have enough problems as it is. Your Canadian brother-in-law
unemployed, rubs his knuckles while he sleeps.
A whole range of unadorable animals are on the docket for extinction.
I've identified some plot problems here. Like on New Year's
when Jeremy A's sister blew you in the bathroom
and midway through they threw you out of the house
without your high-tops: was no way to begin a story, and it did.
And I refuse to put bread on anyone's tongue and pretend it's flesh
to put cigarettes and fruit on a grave and pretend I intended it
more than an hour before. Why should it mean less?
The Confederate dead who haunt your city. Jeremy A's sister
years later aboard the California Zephyr. The blood rushing
to your extremities, the makeshift fan, the Mahler left open.
Even now, you can't play it perfectly—notes too far, too fast.
What do you want from any of us, reader? Elegy? Epiphany?
I am hunted by an all-knowing spirit who grows a shade over my head one day
and withers it the next.

Copyright © 2013 Kyle McCord All rights reserved
from Sympathy from the Devil
Gold Wake Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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