Jordan Durham

Aubade for the Robin Dive-Bombing as I Leave for Work

Two weeks since the sun last shone and faith in what is visible

rights itself in me as a balance—to know something else is wary

of everything that breathes. The air escaping my mouth condenses to droplets

not individually seen. Yesterday a man told me not to be such

a little bitch. Another man said nothing. This morning

as the streetlights turn themselves off for another day, I’m no fool

to what helps their luminescent burn. Our lives are timed

by the largest of sums when we refuse to circle and inspect what is closest

to what we have left. Or the lesser sums are the lives we pick,

smoldering against what encompasses us. I can’t hear the pitch of my voice

anymore, which is to say I burnt the coffee and cried on the linoleum

moments before knowing love could be a swift and angry decline. Tomorrow is forecasted

as a clearing of clouds and rain. Even the earthworms will surface to move

and evade their predators of land and sky. They do what they can

to survive. Distance is perspective with five hearts—fear pulling

their skin to surface before the sun helps settle them back to ground.

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Jordan Durham's poems have appeared in Blackbird, Quarterly West, Harpur Palate and Indiana Review, among others. She has been a finalist in the Grist Pro-Forma Poetry Prize and the Arcadia Editors’ Poetry Prize. She holds an MFA in poetry and is a Senior Poetry Editor for Narrative Magazine. Jordan currently lives in Columbia, Missouri.