IDENTITY
by Jan Wiezorek   IdentityWho knows that he’s
a young male,
though all muscleand inbred so much
as to make problems
managing identity.He hears tree frogs
click open the legs   
of a wetland.No one hears
the swan unfolding her neck
against bills sucking upthe slop like a windup toy
ending its cycle, revealing
the perfect ducknear short hairs of a bulldog.
Look up under every cardinal
hugging this tail of nature,showing its sex in color
of mallards floating up-butted
across brown and black fuzz.Who marks identity as a caterpillar
wishing for wings and milkweed?
Kelly green ferns spring,but some could be asexual:
what secret thrill
the warble watertoasting algae among the spots,
asking for a friend
with whom to float,dreaming
the words
“identify as.”      Wasteremoving our teeth | throwing them with the plastic utensils
into the sea | along the grid steps | the EGK
of hearts skipping | | | tripping
over | a | beat | |careening | on cobblestones | how the boy
holds the door | and cannot smile | so we
all bow | reach down to receive |
placing refuse in his cup |what to do next | how winds jostle the palms 
fringing | naming | soundings that fit in quadrilaterals
| in triangles of refuse | nestled on the pier
of all voices | from this height dreaming again | floating
as on the waterof us | how we twist to see and stumble | we are half-dying
against a milk bottle | cap | blue as the water on the night
in which the garbage arrived | uncertainhow lovely the light reflects
that which we toss away | spangles
as innocent as straws for the pelicans | stripes
for the screams of birds |     
GuiltI was on a mule’s back, and my guide took me
through the town of no streets, among the lane of concrete slip dashand up into the hills where smoke rose from open-air stoves. I looked
down upon a wild view of water cascading into the pondwhere some boys were swimming. My guide, a young man, admired
my wristwatch in the days when time was popular, and asked meif I would give it to him. I thought it was a question . . .  unthinkable
at the time and certainly a thing . . . to be kept.By me, after all. Mine. Those trees are mine. As my guide is mine.
As water rushing through the sunlight of my belongings.To pacify myself, I call it important work to pick up litter,
a retrieved cigarette with a filter dried thru wintery survival.Under grass, the purple pocks,
invisible in square ground,that which screams in yellow
what we are hidingunder wounds,
surviving in our casing,settling in a wood chip
gouged in the neck,down deep so,
under the field, the pond.The watch long since given away.
And others like it.And some lay in my desk drawer—
never used or admired.Ourselves, where the story
thinks and means:      that it can mean
hidden and ticking.     
The Flame Against the BaysideLike him, we all wear
our own versions
of a black bow tie
and white shirt,
dark coat and trousers.
The night matches intensity
in our eyes. What light remains
shines on almond skin
and broad forehead. We carry
dark leather portfolios
and a demeanor that stands
tall along flat stones.
Flash of fireworks,
flame against bayside,
a romantic candle—
all these sources
light our faces
in the sway of shoulders,
staying pressed in night
turning our sweat to skin:
seeking adventure
in delightful purpose,
our spirits walking
within the sounds of our steps.          
Out the WindowMore about the reflections of yourself
than the weight pulling at your gut,a waist as loose as a goose, stretchable,
knowing the affirmation of a brown belly,large and distinctive, without noticing
the turns and pauses held in glass,interrupting the grass and the bruised orange
of a brown worm taking afternoon sun,appearing to move as light moves,
heating the shadows fled from branchesto scatter the lawn. One end investigates,
as a worm moves with wondersfinding its way, grounded.
A robin looks thru the windowinto the eternal now, and as long as you look
and the robin looks, future is put on hold,commanding the present
like a growling stomach.Think about eating,
but before turning, the bird takes the worm—
the end farthest away.It does not suck like you suck
noodles, but the movementappears for effect. One can only see
this happen by using an index fingerand tracing the route of a supposed
worm inside the throat, imaginingthe route a worm takes beyond a beak,
a mouth, vacuuming the five-inch worm,
as an Asian noodle dish
appears to the collective mind.You leave the window
and enter the kitchen. Sublime,awesome, monstrous, exciting,
filled with an attitude.Adventure as patient as a robin,
an endgame of love for a worm—and an empty stomach.    About the Author: Jan Wiezorek writes from Barron Lake in Michigan. He has taught writing at St. Augustine College, Chicago, and his poetry has appeared or is forthcoming at The London Magazine, Southern Pacific Review, L’Ephemere ReviewYes Poetry, Scarlet Leaf Review, Xavier Review, and Modern Poetry Quarterly Review, among other literary and online journals. He is author of Awesome Art Projects That Spark Super Writing (Scholastic, 2011) and holds a master’s degree in English Composition/Writing from Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago. Visit him atjanwiezorek.weebly.com

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