From Dead Birds

by Tony Tost

Sister brought back the mountain’s shadow. I saw it. It killed the birds. Every morning has its moment of pale horror. Sister came down at dawn, saw a dead swan on the porch, kicked it in the mouth. Soon snow on that lyrical sculpture. Brother’s small weeping, my repose. A heron does not touch the fish of nearby waters for it always travels a great distance for its food.

Good morning, Sister.

Tony Tost is completing his MFA at the University of Arkansas. His work has appeared in the pages of Fence and Spinning Jenny. Tost also co-edits Octopus, to be launched in August.

Tony Tost’s Invisible Bride was recently selected by C. D. Wright as the winner of the 2003 Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets. We’re pleased to be able to present three poems from Invisible Bride, two of which were previously published in storySouth, and one new poem from a project Tost calls “Dead Birds.”

Invisible Bride will be published by LSU Press in 2004. In the meantime, you may enjoy more of Tost’s poems elsewhere on the web:

“I Am Not the Pilot” at The Cortland Review
One untitled poem at Canwehaveourballback?
“Twelve Self-Portraits” at Typo Magazine