Blackbirds are blackbirds.
Crows are humans. They took issue
with my elocution.

Blackbirds are pussy-cats.
Crows are dicks. I think
about god like I think

about sex. My dick
in your wallet, pink
and black, I worked hard

to subvert our condition.
It’s not a car, but a backpack.
Not a transport

but a heft. The swifts
dive into, in lieu of chimney,
your JanSport. The stranger

downstairs hardly works.
I’m a frat boy and you’re
a poet. And when Blanche

LeBlanc says that the fact
she can do next to nothing
to alleviate the suffering

of others—even those she
does not know personally!—
is more

than she can handle, I tip Jesus
two bits to feather my hair
in a wingback chair.

My cat euphemistic
in gold and black, my crows collect
glittery trash.

A euphemism in blue
and black, my heart says
There is no turning back

from this hypothetical
elocution. The stranger
the stranger downstairs

the more his roars roar up
the radiator. I worked
hard against my heft.

My hair’s in a knot
held in place with two pins.
The last place to escape

our condition
was in. And years before
our JanSports carried

vibrations, I’d fit clogs
on socked feet of strangers
at Montague & Sons.

Blanche LeBlanc goes on.
She begs the blackbirds
from a street corner at dusk

to please reassign
whatever is keeping her
vertical to whoever out there

needs it more.
For Blanche LeBlanc
blackbirds are a symbol.

And when Karma Academy
burned down, we drove out
and took pictures.

My scholarship was ash-black.
Your future was a freestanding fire.
Fuck the fucking fucker

says the radiator.
Blanche LeBlanc is begging
the blackbirds again at dusk.

Her street corner is violet
at dusk. Cate Mensinger is having
palpitations. Blanche will never wear clogs.


Her Dalliances (II)


Here is a man in a banana suit.
He says do nothing when in doubt.
My mask is comprised of men
I’ve loved and lost. Welcome
to the world,
the world said once.




I didn’t even know I was going
                                      until I stepped out of my building
in my mask. A dark car pulls up
                                                   and I climb in the back.
Next thing I know
                         I’m eating a Cinnabon™
                                                   at the airport terminal
before boarding a plane for Lima.
                                                                Then I’m in Lima
and they’ve graciously lent me
             a donkey for my long journey. For your belongings,
they say, for your long journey
                                                        up the mountain.
This is all in Spanish, obviously.
                                         I have no belongings but
appreciate the gesture, nonetheless, and also the company.

The air grows thin as I climb the incline toward the ruined
civilization of the ancients.
                                        I pant behind my mask, the one
I didn’t know I was going
            until I stepped out of my building in.
In a sense we are in
                          constant departure from where
                                                                  we come from.
And as I turn to the lumbering animal beside me to confess
             I don’t think
                                                     I’m going to make it,
he has just knelt down to
                                                                                   lift me up.



Sarah V. Schweig is the author of the chapbook S. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in The Atlas ReviewBlack Warrior ReviewBOMB MagazineBoston Review, HTML GiantMaggyPainted Bride QuarterlyThe Philadelphia Review of Books, Slice, Tuba, Verse Daily, The Volta, and West Branch, among others. A graduate of the University of Virginia and Columbia University, she works as a writer at a criminal justice think-tank in Manhattan, studies Philosophy at The New School for Social Research, and lives in Brooklyn. Web presence here: http://sarahvschweig.blogspot.com/