Little Song in the Locrian

Timmy Straw

I have two things sang the bird from the pin oak.

Two things have I—the answer back.

The world is in its message today.

The world is in its keys. The sun

in it flashes like a flag in pavilion,

like a frog’s throat flashing in the sun.

And there are things that must be said, I know,

awful and simple as children yelling out

our mother is dead.

A fact will baptize a brain for a while

but what makes the baptism stay—

I have two things, sings the bird in the pin oak

two things have I, the bird in the eaves.

A tuning met and gone like the look

the two hostages gave

when they passed

at the neutral middle of the bridge.

Illustration by Joey Gonnella

Timmy Straw is a poet, translator, and musician from Oregon. Their work has appeared in Paris Review, Annulet, Chicago Review, and elsewhere, and their first book is forthcoming from Fonograf Editions. They live in Philadelphia.
Originally published:
March 27, 2023


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