melissa carl

Falling and Smoke

Slowly the light turns vulgar, becomes the bronze mortality
of yet another day. The sky sags with it–

weighted illumination and alchemical air,
the province of branches. We have to name it,

this imperious need to yield what’s clinging,
this ease of failure. So it is autumn,

yellow and yellow, ambient and cruel,
loss that was waiting to be loss.

We are resident in all these small abandonments,
these maple leaves the color we see in hearts.

We learn to say falling and smoke,
no matter how hard we think grasp, roots.

A Matter of Observation

I notice
that you didn’t notice

the hyacinths,
their four purples

in the jam jar
on the uneven table


my heart,
how it folded itself

into a paper bird
just before

you tore it in half.

Pushcart nominee Melissa Carl‘s poetry has appeared in various journals and magazines, both print and online, including Amoskeag: The Journal of Southern New Hampshire University, The Broken Plate Review, Off the Coast Magazine, and Mouse Tales Press as well as number of anthologies including American Society: What Poets See. Her most recent full-length collection, Brutal Allure, was published in 2011. She teaches in York, PA where she resides with her husband, son, and dingo.