My Grandfather told me “The Older You Get, the Faster it Goes”

Outside my window is a tree leaning against the fence, much like my father drunkenly upon our golden flecked countertop. Like them I have become unbalanced.

His funeral was held next to my high school. There were too many people there, old friends wearing leather jackets. I felt I had to entertain them somehow, plastered on a smile.

Down the road I used to roll down grassy hills outside of the Warren Community Pool. It’s abandoned now. I went with Speelman and he took my picture.

Meanwhile I couldn’t stop looking at the chipped
paint, couldn’t stop watching the bright blue racquetballs blaze in contrast, rolling in the wind waiting to be touched.

Oftentimes on the city bus I think I see contentment in the iris of woman’s eye or sleeping beneath her fingernail.

And I imagine it feels like kissing a stranger. And I imagine it feels like waking up knowing exactly where you are.

Mourning the Arizona Blackbirds that Fell On the Anniversary of My Father’s Death

Five thousand blackbirds fell from the sky like broken stars.

A manly twang on the radio recalled there was a hell of a celebration, bullets and fireworks shooting up, up. The noise may have scared the birds, stressed them to death, the twang said.

Blackbirds with red wings, little licorice starlings! Tests were conducted and you died from blunt-force trauma, apparently.

Like an intoxicated teenager smashing into a wall, you didn’t know where you were going, you collided with homes, cars, trees, power lines. Your poor night vision keeps you roosting in trees after dusk while a child runs home as streetlights flicker on. You know better, but all that noise…

It made me think of playing Hitchcock on VHS in reverse.

I heard the interview on the radio while driving home and fell with the birds, properly buried in a poem.

Alicia Banaszewski is currently finishing her junior year at Western Michigan University. Once finished with her degree she plans to sleep on couches until she feels like an adult. Her work has appeared in WMU’s Laureate and Right Hand Pointing.