When I give back the fire I built sleepwalking
& the trail leads from the butcher’s door.
After I tore out all the pages on eyelash &
cornflower & snow to restore every finger
as steel wool, every lake as mirror to fill
with knives. What I meant to say is there
will be birds to bury. A pair of legs growing
under the stadium. That it was never about
flame when I returned lover, the skin of an
orange peeled somewhere dark & fieldless.
Our house, the birdbath built over the cat’s
shadow. What I meant to say is the match
was mine. Watch me settle like a nightcap
across the mattress of your tongue. Sing
you to sleep until you ask me what burns.
NOTE: first line inspired by “Moonrise Kingdom” (2012)
directed by Wes Anderson
Tyler Kline is the author of the forthcoming chapbook As Men Do Around Knives (ELJ Publications, 2016) and the current poet laureate of Bucks County, PA. Currently, he works on a vegetable farm and will begin teaching middle school English this fall. His recent work is forthcoming in Fourteen Hills, the minnesota review, Passages North, Spoon River Poetry Review, and elsewhere. Find him online at tylerklinepoetry.com.