Colorado State University Center for Literary Publishing

Excerpt from Blue Heron


The tongue conformed itself

around this large, glossy darkness,

a groove cut from its own kernel, whose tartness cut

the overwhelming sweetness of the tongue congealing

around the seed.

The very notion of sweetness, what is sweetness, how does the flesh

cloy to its core, the buttery white flesh

of the tongue.

It had no

meaning in itself, only that it gathered

and recorded the seeds to its milky, furred breast,

an embrace meant to

disclose that the tongue was ready and

redundant in its velvet pocket of flesh.




Blue Heron


The heron dies.

The food sent to his stomach

abets him no more.

His urine turns black.

But his face remains blue; his face

and its grizzled beard

have agreed to be turned thus

by blue hands

to the standard of the sky.

Those whose flight is stolen from them

still have this. So did his daughter

witness, collecting the glaze on the

discarded food, the rupture

of his heart, where she folded

a rib cage or otherwise

made a bed for the body

he could settle into. This shoulder,

this wing, this odious




Whose is the rage

and therefore rage as proof

that this is, none of it, a dream,

even as it shimmers—

this disavowal of dreams, this

wanderer thrashing through the

path and startling the creature,

as proof that despair is

true, is justifiable, that the breach

is its own fact even when it releases, briefly

clinging from one to the other like

a fume in the atmosphere.


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