A flock of Aratinga nenday in the park today—
Green parakeets, so exactly the color of the grass
The grass itself seemed to shriek.
And all at once fly away.A wonderful thing to imagine:
A magic carpet, no Ali Baba.
Just the shriek-shape of it
Swooping and curling, rising free of the earth.
Then no carpet—
Disappeared over the treetops, the water tower
Where an intoxicated boy, your neighbor’s son,
Once clawed the glistening sides shrieking
In the dead of night until he drowned.
As if—still—you needed reminding:
By all evidence we are in this world to do nothing.
Daniel Lawless’s book, The Gun My Sister Killed Herself With and Other Poems, will be published next year by Salmon Poetry. Recent poems appear or are forthcoming in Asheville Poetry Review, B O D Y, The Cortland Review, FULCRUM, The Common, The American Journal of Poetry, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, FIELD, Manhattan Review, Numéro Cinq, and other journals. He is the founder and editor of Plume: A Journal of Contemporary Poetry.