By: Jonathan Louis Duckworth
—After James Wright
The swallowtail butterfly is afraid of me.
There is no chickenhawk soaring over my head,
only crows politicking in the lofty bristled tufts of the pines.
When there are no cars on the road & when one
crow yields the floor of the Murder awaiting rebuttal,
I listen to the headwaters of the Hudson
as they learn their shape & relearn & forget.
This mantra of water & stone.
slick & treacherous to my feet.
These waters will not long protect us.
Disaster will not long be content to drink
the glaciers & gnaw at the coasts. We waste
our lives watching the fires crawl closer.
Jonathan Louis Duckworth received his MFA from Florida International University. His fiction, poetry, and non-fiction appears in New Ohio Review, Fourteen Hills, Gulf Coast, Meridian, Tupelo Quarterly, Pseudopod, Superstition Review, Flash Fiction Online, and elsewhere, and his chapbook “Book of Never” was published by Finishing Line Press. He has been nominated for Best New Poets, Best of the Net, and Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy. He is a PhD student at University of North Texas.