Sean Rys


ankle-deep in orchard grass, straw hat pulled low

swallowed light 

like the stamens of unopened flowers

where the plane crashed one night in the berry field

 seat cushions, fuselage, a lone survivor  

stumbling off through the field rows

my daddy told me, he was no liar  

how to enter and how to erase myself

from history, a vanishing  

like dust lifts from the undersides

of leaves, will it kill you  

to wait another hour for arms

 to remember your falling, wire bulb in the barn rafters  

you climbed on my shoulders

looked out through motheaten window slats

bricklayers bent over their work like felled trees

 in the face of oncoming light, do you believe  

past lives return, walking backwards

to find someone we loved  

still standing there, a brutalized moon

all of childhood dragging its witnesses 

back to sleep, fallen blossoms 

arranged in your dutch braid, outside in a nightgown 

alive and haunted

a campfire chewing the trees down to ash

when the weather turns ominous

and our shadows try to pretend 

they belong to us

Sean Rys lives in Tucson, Arizona. His poems appear in journals such as DIAGRAM, The Indiana Review, Devil’s Lake, Cutbank, Hobart, Verse Daily, The Seattle Review, Salt Hill, and Whiskey Island, among others.

Mark Cugini