Jeffrey Bean

Ella’s Garage

Instead of rakes, the feet of huge birds.
Instead of oil stains, six bats dipping in a gray sky.
Instead of light from a dusty window, a mirror

behind curtains in a dream. Not chemicals in cans,
but cups of tinsel stars. Not a shovel, but a thumb,
dirt under the nail. Not sacks of cut grass, but

bundles stuffed with money, the scent of the bank.
Instead of a mower, an intelligent turtle asleep.
Instead of bikes, double-clocks that need winding.

Instead of a car, shoulders—her father’s. No—a room
with no mothers or fathers. No flavors or hunger. Or
a body without arms, reaching toward water. A river.


Jeffrey Bean is currently Professor of English/Creative Writing at Central Michigan University. His poems have appeared in the journals The Southern Review, Antioch Review, Missouri Review, FIELD, Willow Springs, Subtropics and, among others. He is author of two chapbooks and the poetry collections Diminished Fifth and Woman Putting on Pearls, which won the 2016 Red Mountain Prize for Poetry and was published by Red Mountain Press in 2017.