Cirrus whispers
splotch sky.

A plane severs
form, space–

fruit fly,
half-finished canvas.

Wind lifts scraps of news:
bombs in Jerusalem, baseball.


This poem began several years ago after a long walk down a few South Florida streets. The sky was enormous and blue, a near postcard image. I wanted, somehow, to catch the entirety of that experience—the sky, the palms, the refuse—as well as the relative smallness of the self and the comfort to be found in such an idea. At the time, I was reading a lot of Basho, Li Po, Tu Fu, and Su Tung-p’o (in translation). Thirteen years and several major revisions later, the poem reached this shape, and the final line, alas, still makes sense.


Les Kay is a doctoral student studying poetry at the University of Cincinnati. He earned an MFA from the University of Miami, where he was a James Michener fellow. His poetry has appeared in Eclipse, PANK, Jabberwock Review, South Dakota Review, la fovea, Blue Earth Review, Redactions, and elsewhere.

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