Jen Tynes


from Grackles Explain Things to Me


Blue flowers the size of fingernail clippings
have names. The body doesn’t report to whom

it wishes ease, almost new
moon causing break-in

feelings. Scritching tooth of fishing
trail, the body actually experiences an entire tree

falling and lets cloth pits hang
to dry. The neighborhood doesn’t blink

in unison, even though there are only two
or three movies now. Requests to carry off

worn out things have names. The man, a wildflower
sanctuary representative, replaces maps

and keeps deer out of reach
of the pitcher plant; otherwise employment

remains occasional and neon.
The body almost can’t remember

having a virus, stretching out the fabric
and ending up at its Latin trailhead.

Now scentless water birds take fewer trips
to the big lake to get an update.


Pheasant babies the size of Susan B. Anthony
dollars are panicked by our bodies, shooting off

towards deep mud, invisible blaze. A deep green
space late June makes between irritation

and thinking. Way above our heads, beaver ponds
are hilarious, teenaged, anti-nature

poem. Everything we bring gets wet and drips
on what doesn’t belong to us, making a thick

transition. There isn’t time for this week
but it has been dug up and eaten.

The other part of us knows
to stay close to the river.


Wet nature clicks in the middle of some
embarrassment. The bird is too short

to know if it has witnesses. Damage to the leaves
when we put on clothes at noon and water.
The body did not know white birch forests

were such a goldmine, old man’s beard preserved in
whiskey for lung and bladder. “June Gloom” does not expand

east but the trail is still low and urgent, TV crime
drama allows it to open slowly. Time passes differently

for every plant in the neighborhood.
Tan lines make the body’s head

come off, a masculine bedrock in the middle
of what it thought was a long, cool chasm.


Watching two grackles eat food out of another
grackle’s mouth – off trail is a fire ring, skin

prickling, washing it away from the knees
down. The body tries not to spread

its oils to the shopping center & upholsteries,
lets electricity tell it all

about the cloaca, blood versus
lymph, how it’s possible to see inside.
The city stopped asking

the neighborhood to water its sapling,
stopped letting the dog get carried off
by emotion. It’s a toothed leaf with only sometimes

a round outcropping, small lush identification.
Sometimes the body ends the recording

past breathing but before the thought has rested.
The vein sometimes hairy in winter. We saw a porcupine

stand perfectly still in the path to the water
and another fat mammal hover in
the branches above us, disclosing some

effort. What a spiral anybody can make
of the inside, having reached it

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