nibbling the long legs still trying to walk on water.
Last night, behind the caves of burning wood
in the beehive-shaped fireplace, I could see
into the cracked mud, past the honeycomb lath
of chicken wire—to the adobe bricks
of its construction. How quickly fire turns
one thing into another—nothing’s ever destroyed—
ashes to soil to wood and back to flame.
Wind blows the threadgrass, stirs the red-winged
blackbird to rise and land on a cattail. The curve
of the bird’s dark claws sink into the domed tip
as if it were a pincushion, and when the blackbird
jumps back into flight, a clutch of seeds releases
into the air, each one thrusting outward, ignited.
Elizabeth Jacobson’s second book, Not into the Blossoms and Not into the Air, winner of the 2017 New Measure Poetry Prize, selected by Marianne Boruch, is just out from Free Verse Editions/Parlor Press. She is the founding director of the WingSpan Poetry Project, a nonprofit which conducts poetry classes in shelter facilities. Beginning in June, she will be teaching a weekly community poetry class in conjunction with the Railyard Art Project in Santa Fe, New Mexico.