Laura Hirneisen


Lush-withered black-eyed Susan,
twenty years choke,
same drunk place.

Today, he bought a gun,
swears he'll shoot you
for a foot, whisper, envelope.

Cars somewhere on a road
grind asphalt like tanks.
A hammer falls,

birds scream tree to tree
angry as German mothers,
walnuts blitz startled grass.

September digests in breaths-
think garbage heaps, split seams.
Each cracked branch could be

bullet's cough, a small death.
Behind you, clouds and bees,
vines, apple cores, half a wing.

Laura Hirneisen's recent poetry and prose has appeared in or is forthcoming from Blueline, Word Riot, 2River View, Pisgah Review, Ghoti Magazine, and elsewhere. She lives in southeastern PA and blogs at

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