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Select Poems by Michelle Greco

Opening My Car Door, I Look Down



Plump as a tulip bulb but smaller,

with what I mistake for a tender root,

barely green, sprouting from the side.


It is a wing,

the bulb a body, one blue-

purple vein on the left,


beak pointed flint-like, neck exposed. Look up,

the nest, small and twig-bare,

young mother’s poor choice.


How could she be so reckless, forget

that life, barely budded, can be cruel as asphalt?

You fell before you could fly.


You never stood a chance, little one,

and it’s not fair

the last sound you heard was not new


or beautiful or kind, but a crack

both gruesome and all your own.








Blink out the stars, tangle blue

in my throat, your fingers

pull the knot in my sweatpants,

palm to navel push,

hunger takes over, slips up

torso, left breast, tongue

your blue highway print

on chest and neck, marking

me for silent screams,

wild hair pull,

my head, your hands cradle

before freefall,

my body, your map—

in this cartography, stars mark

highways, blue Route 66

stretching out, fingers grasping.





First Ride



I never noticed

sunflowers before,


never saw a sunset,

sorbet-colored orb,


and I didn’t know

how wide I smiled until


my skin stung

with wind song


on the back of the Vulcan,

knuckles tight

around back seat steel.


But after the sun sank below

silhouette tree lines,


after we had our fill of drinks

and over-priced French fries,


after I almost got into my first fist fight,

we rode over a two-lane Pennsylvania bridge.


You leaned forward, pointing out

shadows on the water.





All poems appear in Michelle Greco's chapbook, Field Guide to Fire.

"Rewind" also appeared in Painted Bride Quarterly.

"First Ride" also appeared in Generations.

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