Jovi Schnell, Moon Seed Dataspace (acrylic and flashe on canvas), 2017

Love doesn’t want this body. A sparrow’s in the tree,
then he’s gone—chasing steeples.

In black-and-white photos of an old
apiary, bees crown
the keeper’s head, sugary swarm,

blur of graying flight I imagine the third
child I’m homesick

for is—is motherless in night’s cold cove, is
nameless in a garden of stars.
Like my mother’s humming—aren’t

there sparrows left, there aren’t any sparrows left
When I dust my daughter’s dollhouse,

painted bougainvillea on pink walls—soon, she’ll cast
it away. When another child suicide bomber is blown
up by remote control. Tell me,

is there a different word (or world)
for light or lonely in the darkening? Is

light ever alone? Tell me there’s a man somewhere
weighting a calf’s neck, submerging its wild
kicking & sobs under the river water.

The bells around the collar singing
memories I never lived—this child drawing a bee,

calling it treasure—body’s honey thrum.
Somewhere in the world you might be knifed
for what moves inside you—it’s true, the human

body gives off an imperceptible glow, mine
a candle walking the halls to quiet my children’s sleep

whimpers. The moon is. I ask the angel present
at my birth—are you the same hungered one
who’ll attend my death?

The moon slides away.  The night never ends, a black
horse quiet at the field’s edge.


Nicole Rollender