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  • Conor Scruton

Two Poems

Ghost Hums as They Think of Love

I’ve swallowed it like songs in church

we pulled from the air,

stones willed into meaning

or words molted from some cold thing

fragile as beauty,

the fold between shoulder blades.

In the end the empty

is the hard part,

what to do with the shells

left under the trees. How

we can be so willing,

that we’ll unfold a pair of wings

break all the little bones

and hope

the wind will catch them,

with its still hands.

Morphology 1

winter is not a mouth

asking of you, endless

when I touch you

in my sleep you put your hand

on my chest and find feathers

red and warm beige

a cardinal once flew

into my bedroom window

I couldn’t bring myself to crush its neck

before the cat could get there

so where does mercy fall

among our words of love

sometimes ice forms around fruit

that empties as alcohol and sugar

even still water

will change its shape in time

the buds will form all the same

pink and nascent

this gift I give you, permission

Conor Scruton lives in Milwaukee, where they research ghost stories and are a poetry editor for cream city review. Their work has appeared in North American Review, CutBank, Salamander, and other journals.

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