Two Poems | by Beth Gordon

Goose Season

I know where they are, spinning moonlight
stories of migration in suburban ponds, winter zoos
devoid of tourists, all caretakers hunkered down, my neighbor
says her swimming pool is filled with water
fowl, confused and lost, their voices dissipate like egg-
shell dust into the bitter-bone night, I could sell directions, maps
of the stars, to flesh-hungry hunters fresh
off the holiday carnage, but I don’t. Niagara Falls
is coated in ice, an unnamed serial predator discards white shark
carcasses on fishing piers, leaving skulls,
bloated stomachs, extracting the liver, my father leaves
a trail of cereal everywhere he goes, multi-colored life preservers,
and my widowed friend dances with her dead
husband on New Year’s Eve, her dreams less ambitious
than flocks of geese in search of sunlight, her only desire to discover
the power to rewind. I wake hungry, my mouth,
coated with rotted leaves, abandoned crows’ nests, gall-
bladder bile, and you tell me that your furnace is deceased, slipping
away while you slept in your cocoon, it’s heart
burst and now you must leave your home in search of heat,
of fresh graves beneath the snow, of tombstones engraved with initials
that match your own, I cannot help you find
your way, I can only send you photographs of my first meal
this year, stuffed portabella mushrooms, peppered and without blood.




I need to re-establish my appetites for pancakes,

ballroom dancing, romantic drama, but I overflow the hours
of my day with visits to my mother’s abandoned house to retrieve
table runners, doily-laced, hand-crocheted, and needle-

pointed with acorns and hallucinogenic mushrooms.

The concrete of my father’s headstone is still drying, and how
can that be when he has been a ghost for 365 days and an equal
number of haunted nights? Calendar magnets exist

to perpetuate the myth. Sympathy cards, high school diplomas,
mark each split second, jokes about vultures, raccoons and carry-
on luggage, all evidence that time is containable, hiding in

fingernail cells, homecoming queen. I’ve always known

that she is a liar, covering numbered squares with shiny gold stars,
notes to my mother, barroom receipts, the secret journal
of magicians’ tricks, that the reappearing bird was a replacement

bird, twin to the one murdered for entertainment.



Beth Gordon has been landlocked in St. Louis, Missouri for 17 years but dreams of oceans, daily. Her work has appeared in Into the Void, Verity La, Quail Bell, Calamus Journal, Anti-Heroin Chic, After Happy Hour Review and others. She can be found on Twitter @bethgordonpoet.