For Anthony Madrid


When my footsteps dream me down a street night to the art gallery,
I am wreathes of conjecture among all my salty, caustic alphabets.

In the bright, warm gallery, plastic is the new black is the new gold.
My act is strict. But if anyone asks, it was I who let in the birds.

I’d rather have dogs, but here, birds give my gestures meaning.
They are my only mirror, while I play at godliness in the sun going.

When I am full-bright, in my gate, art goes and goes.
Its path my path parallel. We touch our hands and weep.

I am my heart- black chocolate- more bitter than wine.
I am my clothes- a shroud- white, clear skin underneath.

As good a scaffold built back and down. As good a hanging.
Wherefore animals sounds go go the tiny jealous orchestras.

If repeating flames with pleasure alight here a homing reflection
I will shatter-bounce myself into breaking broken red melted west.

Least of any campfire crusades are the burnt sugar proverbs-
milk money moorings leaking like fruit when I am that wild coast.

Terribly romantic chimney whispers in the spectra of summer
There is blood on my shoulder and disaster near my hottest alms.

A good god stubborn under copper escalator oils velocities of logic
Of course the child-shaped-heart is also exact, undisciplined, emergent

Also an art gallery hung up with black chocolate, birds, dogs and fire-
Without mirror without atmosphere- a lyric in the skirmish of maturity.


A native of Western Pennsylvania, musician and writer DANA JERMAN has been published multiple times in print in the US and abroad. As well as free verse and flash fiction, she enjoys writing in the smaller traditional Japanese forms of haiku and tanka. Chapbooks include "Sins in Good Taste" featuring poetry and drawing from Back2Print Publishing in Chicago. As well as via “Diminishing Returns: Seventeen Washed-Up Love Poems.” Read more and see her photography on her blog updated bi-monthly:

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