Black-throated sparrows and dawn,
he flicks his fingers like a lighter, like he wants to start something
with no sound, like a word,
like the vowels cut from my name
& whisper them into the right ears
of my ballpoint: Love
always burbling in the background.
A far voice
full of memory: why it left home.
The honest wind will knock
like something broken letting loose. What it
want? To break new ground.
Kingdom come & morning light appear
in our slender boughs / even in our undergrowth.

A Cento from poems in Section one of What Things Cost: An Anthology of the People (The University Press of Kentucky, 2023) with lines from poems by (in this order): Erica Meitner, Javier Zamora, Seth Pennington, Ocean Vuong, Ruth Awad, José Olivarez, Yusef Komunyakaa, Faisal Mohyuddin, Kevin Goodan, Yaccaira Salvatierra, Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle, Curtis Bauer, Chris Green, L. Lamar Wilson and upfromsumdirt