Lightsey Darst

Where they’ve irrigated, a green line.

Set, so that we would / speak the same tones
& phrases wherever we went, our imagined life

moving, generous or cruel, ahead like weeds along the world. Loosestrife:
purple, barely distinguished note among green. A cross is a place

for a bird to nest (here, in this Publix parking lot): to rest,
fold down an aching wing, remake the race. A girl whose bluebird eyes / question

of authorship? She might be ocean’s, ebbing with the sweet cession
of low tide. While I, fastened to the bridge / and damp dream of it: crossing,

the brook’s snake seen, winding away for hours, all night. Where, blessing,
they’ve planted an elm avenue, and where haven’t they: they have the right.

Oh me, little seed, my crux. They will ask: what did you grow? Tightened
form inside a hull, unmirrored. Meanwhile what’s ripe is splitting wide, though

for a moment brown and whole like this crow’s eye.


President of evangelical university resigns
Retromancy. By looking over one’s shoulder.








"Land use planning" comes from a larger sequence called Dance, which will work something like a book of horoscopes when completed. (I'm hoping for a spinner on the cover.) The two tags at the bottom are a newspaper headline and a type of prophecy (borrowed from Paul Dickson's book Words). As for the poem itself, I can only say that my mother is a botanist and my father is a planner for the state of Florida.