Tiny Pageants of the Soul

by John Wall Barger

John Wall Barger’s poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies, including the Montreal Prize Global Poetry Anthology (2011 and 2013) and Best Canadian Poetry in English (2008 and 2015). His third collection, The Book of Festus, came out with Palimpsest Press in spring 2015.

 

Strangers,
I like how our fingers brush
handing coins back
& forth at the market.
That communion.
I draw a slow smile
from the tough old bird
in a raincoat
at the bus stop.
I sit on a park bench
in new moon dark.
Crows play in
streetlight shadows
like the ghosts
of dead puppies
& I have had doubts
about my heart.
Love is impossible
but we exist
in its ripples,
like that anatomy
student who slid
the sheet off a corpse
& there was
his childhood crush.

 


John Wall Barger’s poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies, including the Montreal Prize Global Poetry Anthology (2011 and 2013) and Best Canadian Poetry in English (2008 and 2015). His third collection, The Book of Festus, came out with Palimpsest Press in spring 2015.

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