Poetry
Spring/Summer 2018

Precarious

by Steven Leyva

Precarious 

 

slick cherry boughs labyrinthine

as steampunk pipework,

 

last night’s rain and leftover

torrid odor on the breeze,

 

daylight, and the moon are nude.
Baltimore’s skyline smolders

 

like a rusted through furnace 

in a basement of heaven.

 

against an anvil of light

a black girl strikes the empty

 

streets with a plain kickball

until morning is fully dressed

 

in a house-robe and slippers

of laughter. Would anyone argue

 

laughing alone

in the cool after dawn 

 

isn’t a sharp prayer,

as much as the first brushstroke

 

against primed canvas, or the pen-

ultimate hole rust eats 

 

through a furnace?

and what of the industrious cherry

 

trees budding despite a summer

full of bullets to come?

 

Perhaps a bud is minor lit

candle on the boughs 

 

which neither the breeze 

nor the fog colored waxwing 

 

can snuff. Perhaps the blossom 

imagines a people to come.   

 

  

Photo: Chuck Huru

Steven Leyva was born in New Orleans, Louisiana and raised in Houston, Texas. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in 2 Bridges Review, Fledgling Rag, The Light Ekphrastic, The Cobalt Review, and Prairie Schooner. He is a Cave Canem fellow, the winner of the 2012 Cobalt Review Poetry Prize, and author of the chapbook Low Parish. Steven holds an MFA from the University of Baltimore, where he is an assistant professor in the Klein Family School of Communications Design.

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