More and More

       The trick is not to be so satisfied
                   with more and more of everything
that feeds a grievous hunger.
                                       - Bruce Weigl

I can't seem to account for my heart –
enormous crow on the telephone pole
cawing three times across the hidden
part of the neighborhood – alleys,
garages, cars on blocks, spilled
chicken bones and diapers.
The church bells are starting up.
In the dream, an old love appeared
and called to me. I couldn't reach him,
even the dream a cliché, each door
a false beginning.

The church bells play America the Beautiful.
The mourning dove echoes a big wind
in the oak tree. Somewhere, as ever, a siren –
no Sunday morning peace. I outstare
the neighbor's cat. I think there is no god,
lolling in the clouds, enjoying
the praise. So I beg forgiveness
of the cat, the overgrown garden.
There will always be two stories and mine
will be the bad dream, cliché, tut-tut.
Is the neighbor's cat satisfied,
staring me down?

Sarah Browning's first book of poems, Whiskey in the Garden of Eden, is forthcoming in 2007 from The Word Works. She is coeditor of D.C. Poets Against the War: An Anthology and coordinates the group of the same name. Her poems have appeared in journals such as Shenandoah, The Seattle Review, and Sycamore Review. She is currently organizing Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation & Witness, to be held in Washington, D.C. in March, 2008. Read her blog at sarahbrowning.blogspot.com

Boxcar Poetry Review - ISSN 1931-1761