Michael Colonnese


You’ve got to love that kudzu
for what it does with wreckage,
the charred remains of the singlewide
melted in a meth-lab fire
shrouded with green in a single season.
Why it grows there, I can’t say,
but forgiveness can thrive on poison
like a survivor who escapes
from a re-education camp or a poem
in translation, or a melody
from a songbird with its
gizzard filled with sand
or pebbles used to grind up seeds
but a dead bird now and held
lifeless in your palm and rolled
between the fingers like saliva
or your lover’s sperm. I’ve been
thinking today of earworms, of a refrain
stuck in one’s head with a life all its own,
a fidelity so strong it can’t be silenced
by willfulness or pride. Instead,
it overwhelms and covers up things
like kudzu or desire.