Twitter: Tack Coat

The tack coat of dawn gives way to the scumble of morning.

Dawn. Hot pink rubbed over midnight blue. Sudden lightning. My dog in my arms, trembling.

A rabbit appears out of nowhere like a lost thought. I think of an old friend.

Some folks decorate their porches but never sit on them.

Little man down there putting away your grill, come out of your garage and look up.

Some people kill birds. Others put out bird feeders.

Tonight’s sunset turned the sky into a cauldron. Below, a thrasher the color of depleted soil foraged quietly beneath a sapling.

Birds define the air.

How do you see the air without the bird? Assume there are no trees.

The cowbells follow one another / Into the distances of the afternoon. — James Wright

In the sky, a great heron goes unnoticed by lovers on a picnic.

A tender young boy watches a pair of red-winged blackbirds as his friends taunt him.

A scissor-tailed flycatcher perches on a stop sign until I get too close with my camera.

The verses are in the land, in the trees before they became paper, in our hearts before they were rewritten by language.

I used to think to be not alone meant / never having to walk through the high wheat / or struggle in the water. — Allison Seay

I just saw a man texting while driving a tractor down a major thoroughfare.

I might be getting too involved with the animals who live in my yard.

Poetry: Bitches

Trauma can start at a young age. For me, it was interlaced with living in a girl’s body and what I learned, early on, that meant. This poem first appeared in Chiron Review.


The first wouldn’t stay. The second got carsick.
The third launched herself through the screen door
because she loved my father so much that she never

wanted to be away from him. That one left a gash
in the screening the size of a Doberman because
that’s what she was. The seam exposed our trailer

to mosquitoes and bottle flies, a summer buzzing
with ruin. My father couldn’t stand rescue dogs
like that — twitchy miscreants, second-hand shits.

He’d wait until we hit the road to offer truckers
the latest in his line of broken canines. Breaker
I-9. Free to anyone willing to come and get her

On the highway shoulder, men arrived one by one,
wearing lumberjack shirts and ball caps, carrying packs
of reds and Coors cans nestled inside jewel-toned

rest stop cozies. Roughly, they sized up the reject dog
while leering at me on the sly. With a grin, they’d offer
to take either of my father’s bitches off his hands.