Les Kay


A jasmine bush blooms
Under floorboards

Rusted from chrome
Like pulses of muscle

During an influenza evening
In this spring-basted January.

Under the twitch of scent,
The start of life, you might

Measure the dandelions,
The ragweed, the crab grass

That press through rough soil. It is cold,
So I wrap my neck with cashmere,

And drive down Greenville to the grocer
For fifty-cent chicken soup.

Along Mockingbird Lane engines rot
Like cauliflower at the Thai buffet

That we always tested just as
The paper lanterns were dimmed.

Jasmine--a hushed bird--
Flits about the streets painting peonies

Onto pavement, weaving prisms
Into graveled slicks of oil.

Les Kay received his MFA from the University of Miami, where he was a James Michener fellow and the Managing Editor of Mangrove. He now lives in the Bay Area with his wife and hopes to found an online magazine, Give Verse, devoted to poetry that sways the charitable spirit.

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