My Swans – Milo Gallagher
I’d like to think I’m ironclad,
but each new disappointment surprises me.
I had a flock of brothers,
but they’re all swans now.
I planted some charmed beans,
but what little that grew
was stunted, and bitter.
The sugar ants are everywhere –
the countertops, my cereal,
the folds of my clothes.
I crush their tiny bodies with my thumb,
but more arrive as if poured from a jar.
They say everyone in the dream is really you –
the taxi driver, the crow, the bodiless mouth.
Sometimes I am my mother,
scrubbing the floor, or pinching clay
into bowls that hold no water.
At midnight I think I see my brothers
sailing the surface of the marsh.
Their bodies lit up from below like votives,
candles bobbing for the lost at sea.