Leaf Curl

by Elijah Matthew Tubbs

I kneel at the ghost altar—

a man who maybe could walk
but definitely could float

if one pushed him
into a deep pool—

steal back
all of myself
given up to
word of mouth

Others light candles
read the word grin

at sons/

drawing on each other’s
palms with fingers

A parliament of owls
outside the window

Swivel neck cracks
ruffling feathers
swallow their kill

They’re in secret meeting, I can hear

thank God
I will be gone

They want to eat me
alive, they say

Mildew and leaf curl around
my blighted body

Shit me out
pure, they say

I have never felt this
alone in a room
filled with so many
breathing birds

I have lost (or was it a desertion?)
my King

Elijah Matthew Tubbs lives and writes in Arizona. He is co-founder of ELKE “a little journal”. His work has appeared or is forthcoming from Hobart, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, and elsewhere.

Photo by: Ana Prundaru