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  Genevieve Kaplan
Genevieve Kaplan
Genevieve Kaplan is the author of In the ice house (Red Hen, 2011), winner of the A Room of Her Own Foundation poetry prize, and settings for these scenes (Convulsive Editions, 2013), a chapbook of continual erasures from Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse. Recent work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Zyzzyva, Opon, Interrupture, and Manor House Quarterly. She lives in southern California, where she edits the Toad Press International chapbook series, publishing contemporary translations of poetry and prose.

A swift (quick) justice



Genevieve Kaplan
the birds in the yard swooped
up by the other birds
in the yard. the predatory (preliminary)
birds. a cache of feathers rusting
alongside the bicycle
a thump in the outer foyer
what they did was wrong, no doubt
and where, and how. and the kind
of flapping, which shouts—I won't
be fooled again.
this was one
last time that I tried. one brush
over the fence—I could
hear you sweeping. the servile
mode of it. (to say I'm home
alone)—the drifting touch of it, impulsive
lift of it. each one we remember. (each
light wing, approached and approaching)
the thought I was about to have
(that one). you. here. the branches
rushing wildly. and over
the fence. and beyond the next
fence. and even
the concrete fence (the certain word
for it), beyond that, where some
of us live, beforehand
unafraid and that is almost enough


Shift up and down the wires (that close them in)



mountain green, meadow green, antique green

which is the hedge which is not the fence which is where
we walk which is where we must stay out. that which
is the wind, that which fades. the tree an arch of the sky (to)
the sky. as leaves fall. as branches crack (the wind). and down
and a small tail showing through the tall grass. (because
there's a joke, there's a man) in the jungle green, the jungle
brown. the muddle yellow. the leaves are loud. and someone
is always sneaking up from behind. the depression (in)
the ground, seated in this new place

which green was what I heard out in the yard. the fracture
of a branch or a step. small movement of the night, glancing
toward the laundromat, the cartridge, electric types
of noises through the foliage, and someone coming closer, some
movement not so distant. as the order is the thing, the archiving
of the thing, the crickets and their pledges in the lost circle
of black-green. jungle there, at the shape of it, for the shape
near the trunk and the dirt of it. seemingly lost or broken fast
(to be unrecognizable), the main thing is to take the time
not near enough a breeze. or a tree motion, the night
which shadows on and (lingers) on


Apart from its pleas



enough the night, low murmurs
that rise out of it. there aren't many words
fresh leaves, the dirt outside the fence, dug
up from underneath. the horn
and the lights at night, the moon
and the heat of it. and accurate
disturbing calm. I shared with you then?
or I shared with the tree, the hearth held
for me.
at night a pause and a cry
a skinny back. a loaded leaf. it's that place
that wanders and calls out. it's that scrawny
bird which wanders, scrapes, and calls out
and the lot of it cools. who will hold
out, having recently arrived, having sat
on the stoop with the bird, left the bird alone
on the stoop, and turned out the light


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