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Self-Portrait with Bluebird by Mikey Swanberg


-for franklin k.r. cline



the snow shut the woods up for once

& now everything is wet

my boots & socks

my cute little gloves

all afternoon the birds

tap their beaks at the window


because they can see me munching david’s low sodium sunflower seeds


& checking my blood pressure

off & on & off beyond the pines


bent like drunks in the snow

the newly discovered dump


sits waiting for me & mom

to go sifting for something good


trash pickers

of this trashed land


hunting for anything that glints

when held to the sun


but now it’s Sunday

& I’m bummed


& franklin called & gassed me up


we say our woods our swampy fields


on Monacan land

a dozen miles from where Jefferson

dug up a bunch of graves

to plant grapes


& got called the father

of modern archeology


what do you say to shit like that

shaking the last of a hint of

lime


tostitos bag into your mouth

& drinking the worse tasting


ZERO-SUGAR LEMON-LIME

THIRST QUENCHER Gatorade


*naturally flavored

with other natural flavors*


which doesn’t mean anything

but when googled


means there is at least a little

bit of tree sap in this bad boy

& my own sap comes in

while looking through the hidden


album in my phone

& feeling like narcissus


staring into the koi pond

in an Austin Power’s wig


asking

do I make me horny, baby?


again & again until the fish

break the surface

with their hunger

mistaking my shadow


for one who’s come

to feed them



 

Mikey Swanberg is the author of On Earth As It Is (Vegetarian Alcoholic Press, 2021), Good Grief (Vegetarian Alcoholic Press, 2019), Zen and the Art of Bicycle Delivery (Rabbit Catastrophe Press). He holds an MFA from the University of Wisconsin - Madison & lives in Chicago.

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