for cummings and the very beautifully suddenly rendering death and forever


Take what's left and place an ampersand between it.

Finish the rest when you're on a trail

in the forest, wandering

through your head like a clearing filled with

jay-blues and thrushes, and when there’s snow

on the trail you know that you’re an existentialist

on the page of a Wallace Stevens poem,

except it’s too cold to watch

the blackbirds and their variations

of bird-meter and wing-rhyme,

so you’ve brought lenses and a notebook

for sketching the things you're hearing

into a new existence, something that will flash

before your eyes days later,

when your head is a living forest full of songbirds.

Rosemarie Dombrowski is a poetry editor at Four Chambers, the co-founder of the Phoenix Poetry Series, and the founding editor of Rinky Dink Press (a publisher of micropoetry). She has received four Pushcart nominations and was a finalist for the Pangea Poetry Prize in 2015. Her collections include The Book of Emergencies (Five Oaks Press, 2014) and The Philosophy of Unclean Things (Finishing Line Press, forthcoming).