“Well Of Course You’re Trapped.”

by Bradley Allf

“Well of course you’re trapped.”


What did you expect?

Layers, inversions, the way

snow flips a landscape

to air and muff

and footsteps. What else?

Something found, a series

of doors,

a detail missed.

And you found—

an island

of flightless birds.

The woman’s a bird,

the dog’s a bird, the haze

of summer is the bird-god

of light, and Scott the painter

is a particularly ugly sort

of bird.

The heart of the island?

is hot and smells of guano

because that’s all it is

for a thousand feet

of burrowing

and at the bottom—

a retired street pony

stumbles around a track

looking for freshwater

eyes white, and unyielding.

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