an online poetry journal

Photo by Melissa Hotchkiss


by Sean Burke

This cloud was refurbished
by an online merchant
who works days as the moon's half-eaten orange

and blinks in near-perfect intervals.
His taste in atheleisure's renown.
He wants you to notice

his detailed attention to things
but not desperately so.
He wants you to note

his ham-fisted means of time-keeping,
slightly slantindicular
and at a purposeful remove.

He’s writing a novella
he’ll never read aloud
because he can’t pronounce the word thistle.

It’s about a podcast host
who asks celebrities
like McConaughey and Chalamet

what words they trip over most,
laughs as they stumble to spit them out,
and then pleasantly analyzes

meanings the words may hold
before they strip off their clothes
and metamorphose to dark green fritillaries.

When he gets home
his husband boils the water
and they slip out of life like a t-shirt.

Poet's Statement: Honestly, I don’t put a lot of thought into what I write. I write from a compulsion and hope something interesting presents itself. That said, to me, this poem addresses the entanglements of identity and self-erasure. With varying degrees of recalcitrance, people desire to make marks—to make a mark professionally or creatively or whatever—but we also feel the balm of letting go, an urge that can arise almost concurrently to disappear into work, love, celebrity podcasts, or little green butterflies.

Bio: Sean Burke lives in South Berwick, ME. His poems are published or forthcoming in Heavy Feather Review, Powder Keg, The Destroyer, past simple, and Jellyfish, among other journals.