Kevin Heaton




Westers dust God’s chalk
off of clouds—
into rainbows.

We squash chrysalis worms
spinning kaleidoscopes, then leave
the church without a blessing.

There are daffodils.

Volunteer priests spring up
in open-air temples—
turn grit into pearls.

I’ve seen spurned men learn
calluses. They douse hot coals
with sweat drops, and plant

seed corn in ashes next to dead
fish. Children rise up and call
them blessed—
serve tea to the plowmen.

Rivers scythe oak trees
like dormant grass—
polished stones hold them close.



Evening, early solstice—the greater
of two lights reflects on adding day spin
to the sun; still ruminant and in the dark
about the weather. A single Texas

rosebush awaits her yellow ribbons,
and that first dance beside a sipping
stream. I am not a warrior poet—
musicians are passive men—byline

silhouettes with twenty-dollar bills
and slices of frozen pizza. I will not offer
you vinegar on a sponge at the point
of a spear, or track your rem sleep

from sleuth shadows. There are trimmed
candles in my pocket. I plant tulip bulbs
in snowmelt. Oaths are like psalms.
Flesh is never weak that wets a finger

in the wind to divine a way to share one
another’s burdens—death can only break
the vows we pledge to let it part.

Kevin Heaton lives and writes in South Carolina. His work has appeared in a number of publications including: Guernica, Rattle, Raleigh Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, The Adroit Journal, and The Monarch Review. He is a Best of the Net, Best New Poets, and three-time Pushcart Prize nominee.


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