Two Poems by Kevin Burris

American Gothic

Shadows are shifting
on a fresh cut lawn,

on an afternoon torn
between cloudy, sunny.

High summer’s drifting,
both here and gone.

At the edge of a storm,
hives fill with honey.

The graveyard’s insisting
that you don’t belong,

that gods you adore
can sift time from money.

Are you still listening?
The radio’s on.

There’s a chair on the porch.
Clocks have stopped running.

Someone is whistling
a familiar old song

from before you were born,
something sad, funny.

In the fields, a whispering
west wind grows strong,

stirs the dark head-high corn.
A harvest is coming.
The Book of Cute

has many chapters. Let us flip
to P for puppy, two pointed puffs
for ears. Two guileless eyes
beguiling every casual browser.
You were born to lick
our fingers as they page,
and pause to touch your inculpable face,
to marvel at the monstrous feet
muddying heirloom rugs.
You have weaponized endearing, teased
the stuffing out of feigned surprise
at the mystery of the missing slipper.
You have left your dog-eared mark,
chewed the corner of a shanghaied heart.

Kevin Burris lives in southern Illinois. His work has appeared in Southern Poetry Review, Poetry East, Atlanta Review, and many others. His first poetry collection, “The Happiest Day of My Life,” was published in 2016 by FutureCycle Press.

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