Let’s be a little less brave together
say the zinnias to each other, heads

like olive frittatas sliding unbroken
across the pan. Down the block

it’s chickens chickens and a ruminant
wind bringing autumn back into

the equation. Choose instead
the tractor’s absence, bankruptcy

of hives, the universe bending down
to pull a thread from its cuff

and flash a third row of teeth. Figs
gyrate into light’s densest coil

so the sugars coalesce, wine stain
into bruise, prow into broken

waves. Fist into throat. When I said
we should love with more fury I meant

even the laryngial crows, even the kleenex
thrashed in the laundry to lace.

Elyse Fenton is the author of the poetry collection, Clamor, which was awarded the 2010 Dylan Thomas Prize. Her second manuscript, Sweet Insurgent, won the Alice Fay di’Castagnola Prize from the Poetry Society of America. Her poetry and prose have been published in American Poetry Review, Best New Poets, Pleiades, Prairie Schooner, Zzyzyva, The New York Times, and elsewhere.