The sower's hand empty: no birdsong.
Watching for the cardinal: I wait
as long as I wait
for you to change.
The slick blackbirds
stretched above the sun
land atop the tallest pine: too far
to see the blue in their feathers.
Originally published in Golden Handcuffs Review
Dedication to Subtraction
To being taken
and being taken from
To be an integer
single strand of hair
wavering in the mathematics
of your withdrawal
Take one person from another
then subtract the one remaining
take the person
subtract desert from desert
Originally published in Volt
Horns open limbs of dusk
Chimed & herbal wind, palo verde wind
March birds catch & thrash
Flick & scratch
Chords of Monday's strobe
Airplane’s late-shadow, quick-shadow, sun
Light scales crevice & spine
To know again your hands
Cellular quail peck the concrete slab
Desert cilia erect in a brief roughness
A thorn in my mouth
Originally published in The Café Review
Slow With Substance
The world was full and still filling.
Desert piled soft.
I imagined loving him. He was otherwise to himself.
He scrolled up and down the glass dunes, breaking the ridges.
He wore green half-sleeves and rolled white pants.
He fell down the wind.
To be as dunes, slow with substance—
How he set himself spinning, one foot on a billion grains of sand.
I wanted to be changed and cured by what I saw—
Originally published in The Instanbul Literary Review
Reverse of Shadow
Why are we not in the dark the secret room learning how to be tender
Music plays whether we dance or not
Whether a light is on or off
Do you know when to turn your back on those things you trust
Shade is not meant to hide but to illuminate the other
As soon as we talked about what was not there the passion of it arrived
Brave light reverse of shadow
I cannot say who you are without saying who I am
More than anything let us lower our words
Let us get down on our knees & not ask
Originally published in Interim
Jami Macarty is a recipient of a 2014 BC Arts Council project assistance for creative writers grant and an Arizona Commission on the Arts poetry fellowship. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Canadian and American journals, including Arc Poetry Magazine, Contemporary Verse 2, Grain, Grist, Quiddity, Beloit Poetry Journal, Verse Daily, Cimarron Review, Volt,Drunken Boat, The Fiddlehead, and Interrupture. Her first manuscript, You Is to Door, has been a finalist with Persea Books, Kore Press, and Carolina Wren Press. She earned an MFA from the University of Arizona and teaches creative writing at Simon Fraser University.