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End of Summer

Joshua Michael Stewart

I construct origami cranes out of sheets of tinfoil, place them on shelves between picture frames and vases. I light a candle on the coffee table, watch all my cranes transform into Phoenixes. I’m transfixed by their flame-pulsing metallic plumage. It’s a humid night, and it asks for sleeping on the roof, as we used to when you were here. On the radio, Chet Baker croons, I fall in love too easily. In a nearby tree, a northern mockingbird sings through the darkness. He’s calling his mate back to the nest. The heart can be like a tombstone, settling in the same patch of Earth for centuries, it sinks into the black soil. It’ll bury itself completely with enough time. If she does not return, he’ll serenade all night, and as tomorrow arrives in orange and blue robes, his song will rise higher, become more frantic, more beautiful.




Joshua Michael Stewart is the author of Break Every String, The Bastard Children of Dharma Bums, and Love Something. His poems have appeared in the Massachusetts Review, Salamander, Plainsongs, Brilliant Corners, South Dakota Review, Permafrost, and many others. He lives in Ware, Massachusetts.

Image Credit: Emma Grey Rose, "Summer's Eve Series/Sea"

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