Jan/Feb 2012 Poetry

Two Poems

by Kelly Nelson

The birds here love crumbled walnuts, says a sign in a park in Slovenia

You pump your one speeder
up the gravel path in hope
of that moment

a blue tit—
swoosh of wings, weightless
jitter, the scritch of its feet—
feeding from your hand.

To feel chosen.

You stand, dappled,
arm out, hand cupped,
patient, breath
shallow, still.

Who appears?
Golob and vrana.
Pigeon and crow.

Not special enough, you
think, not special at all
and so large as to scare off
the smaller, brighter,
better birds.

You splay your fingers, let
hope scatter, another time.

Vrana and golob step in.
Seeds. Thin, brittle seeds
again. They'd been hoping
for walnuts.


Botched Abortion, 1901

Shit, I'm early I say in a stall, locker room
of the Equinox Club on West 23rd. Slide in

a dispenser tampon, pose through a yoga class, followed
by green tea and you in your grave one borough away laugh

at my troubles. I've outlived you. What you wouldn't give
for my clear English, extra money at month's end, the pill

I take every morning. That I am inconvenienced one moment.
That I do not pause and give thanks for no new mouth

to feed. What you wouldn't give for a doctor
to remove number six and leave you alive, lead you

to the lobby where I would be waiting with cab fare,
ride home to a heating pad and soup and cinnamon

toast for the girl my grandmother was before
she and her brothers were made motherless.


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