juxtaposition with seeds

i thought you were gone / stupid bird / darling worms shifting in the mud / this time i am not so
certain / is it kinship or are you gloating? / have i grown bitter with the bees / how they bring the
blooms reliably? / i could barely bare the beauty / of my lover when the sun pressed its fingers / into
the doors of her pupils & so i surely cannot / bare to imagine her now that she is gone / yet my
neighbor’s irises are in season & i remain alone / the warmth has returned to my skin like a familiar
palm wrapped along my forearms / teasing ghosts / there is nothing romantic about any of this / the
sparrows are dastard with their crooning / their beaks like scythes/ the vines relentless in their
unraveling / over the brick that want only to be bare / one man’s beauty becomes another’s brutal
architecture / no there is nothing / romantic about a crowded 5th avenue / how it pours eventually
into Washington Square Park / elbows threatening to kiss one another / like ships in a swarmed
harbor / Lillian Vernon married & knew best to keep her last name / & inside her once home i
mourn & watch / the green do what i cannot / the petals of the daffodil grow & pull open & then
they remain / despite time / despite the knives juking in the wind / why does the spell end where
my own bones begin? / just like that landscape come back / despite death / its place on the mantle &
its victory in the distance / what was once still is granted motion / & again i am dark / with my envy
as life unfolds / its arms & taunts / death with its favorite song / for now / lover / i am going to ruin

Bernard Ferguson

Bernard is the winner of the 2019 Hurston/Wright College Writers Award, a winner of the 2019 92Y Discover Contest, winner of The Cincinnati Review’s 2019 Robert and Adele Schiff Poetry Prize, winner of The 2019 Breakwater Peseroff Poetry Prize, winner of the 2019 Nâzım Hikmet Poetry Prize, and an Adroit Journal Gregory Djanikian Scholar. He has served as Assitant Editor at Washington Square Review and has received fellowships from the Atlantic Center for the Arts, NYU’s Global Research Initiative, and New York City’s Writers in the Public Schools. He has writing published, featured or forthcoming in The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Narrative, The Southampton Review, Winter Tangerine, and the Best New Poets 2017 anthology, among others.