from “In the Language of Tongues”


A starling’s descent
makes a bush
flame & talk

a child’s cry
over a garden wall
brings a crowded street
to a halt.

When I wrote this poem, I was frustrated with my writing, with my own language. In addition, I was thinking about the limitations of poetry, and of the ways we interpret meaning from sounds we don’t fully understand. This poem was also loosely influenced by my childhood upbringing in a Pentecostal church in southeastern Tennessee, but if I were to try to explain why or how, it wouldn’t make any sense. The good news is I’m less frustrated now.