CHAUN
BALLARD

Chaun Ballard is an affiliate editor for Alaska Quarterly Review, a graduate of the MFA Program at the University of Anchorage Alaska, and a doctoral student. His chapbook, Flight, was the winner of the 2018 Sunken Garden Poetry Prize and is published by Tupelo Press. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Narrative Magazine, New York Quarterly, Rattle, The New York Times, Tupelo Quarterly, and other literary magazines.

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I WANT TO WRITE ABOUT FLOWERS

But this is where the garden ends.

& I don’t want to wear gloves or a spiral hat.

 

       I don’t want to wear gloves or a spiral hat

       where we bloom & have need for the sun.

 

I want dirt to bloom under my fingernails in the sun.

But I don’t need dirt to love you back. I can love you

 

       live as you are. I can love you soil black. Even after you

       are gone. Fall is the heaviest season I know.

 

We fall like the heaviest season we know.

A garden is the most beautiful thing to remember.

 

       I say Write about the most beautiful thing you remember.

       But this is where the garden ends.

FROM THE BRAKE LIGHTS
OF DISCOVERY, I TRY TO
CONVINCE MYSELF

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SOMETIMES I FALL
ASLEEP & I AM DREAM-
WATCHING A RERUN

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ON A SPRING DAY, AN INTERRACIAL COUPLE
& VARIATIONS OF THE
N-WORD SUBSTITUTED
WITH WILDFLOWER

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POSSIBLE TITLES
FOR A LOVE POEM

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I WANT TO WRITE
ABOUT FLOWERS

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