by Brandon Melendez
None of the streetlights in my neighborhood work.
Night passes through each avenue unimpeded,
gorging its cheeks with asphalt & rubber & telephone wires.
A bird, mistaking the single light of my room for refuge,
flies full tilt into the double pane window
& snaps against the glass. I am helpless to stop the wreckage.
All I can do is collect the bluegray feathers
trapped in my screen & set them on the bookshelf.
I curse Edison & Tesla & my herringbone buttons,
condemn myself to a lifetime of carrying soft things
I am unable to save. Outside, the unsettled silence is invaded
by a medley of nearby songbirds. Their tune, a tomb of light
sharp as a scythe. Do they not know what has happened?
Do they not hear their chorus ring a bit softer than the night
before? I do not understand. What good is joy
if you cannot mourn what is lost in the name of light?
Brandon Melendez is a Mexican-American poet from California. He is the author of Gold That Frames The Mirror (Write Bloody Publishing 2019). He is a recipient of the the 2018 Djanikian Scholarship from The Adroit Journal, and the 2018 Academy of American Poets Award. A National Poetry Slam finalist and Best Poem winner at the collegiate national poetry competition (CUPSI), his poems can be found in Black Warrior Review, Muzzle Magazine, Ninth Letter, PANK, The Journal, and elsewhere. He is currently an MFA candidate at Emerson College.