Two Poems by Laurie Byro

Dream Working

My sister knitted me Spain. Your face in a moon-lit
window, the eyes of women hidden in olive trees.
The hours pass. We sit cross-legged on a blanket,

the country spreading around us in each blood-dust
stitch she knits. The shedding red matador ribbons,
the fringe as she turns the corner never dropping us,

you throwing back your healthy blood-kissed neck
to laugh. I ask for a terracotta forest, a clay brown
shirt; you hand me a frayed rope, a goat to lead me

up a spilling mountain path. My sister knitted me
Picasso bones and teeth, curly-forest sleep, your
brown-fern hair, the frets on your blue guitar

as the train’s tracks wed your hands. I want to be
married to slowness, the watchful minutes as we
disentangle logy lies, legs that can’t get up and leave.

Shadows that could make Plato’s creatures breathe.
The dark fact of me loved or not. You are miles gone,
coaxing me back into a reflection off train windows.

We miss the plaintive lowing of cave animals that hide
in yellow dust.  My sister knits in a language
that will end with my telling.

Icarus Plays Atlantic City

When I was no more than ten, my father dressed me up
in feathers.  It wasn’t exotic; we were pragmatic and found woodland
browns and greens, no peacock ravished me, no swan

had his way.  But he told me “without facts there cannot be faith”
and I knew I was gifted.  And so I practice, along with the horses, to dive

off a cliff. I know you have seen that act. Horribly, in the 20’s a girl
was blinded!  For me, it is practice, practice, practice. One day
I will be ready for Carnegie Hall.  In between, I do stand-up.

It is odd to see a man adorned with feathers. Like a cross-dressing
flamingo, hitch-hiking my way across the U.S.A., I do a damned good

Lou Reed.  Moon-fogged after 2 A.M. Dad and I spread feathers around
the room.  Woodpeckers with their polka-dot ties make the best ascots.
Imagine a spread of seahorse pink, moss-green and violet:  smoky

as an angel’s wings.  Some say my sister stepped on an asp (others
that a handful of pills did her in). In the back room she WAS everybody’s

darlin’. Oh, those gold brachile she wore with such grace. Soon I will be ready
to leap with those horses and set those strange angels spinning.  We will
neigh and fly towards a perfect marigold sun,  dive down through fingers of salt.

About the author

Laurie Byro's short stories and poetry draw on myth, fairytale and her experiences of foreign places in the years she worked as a travel…

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Issue 20 · May 2014

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