By Jason Dean Arnold

Southern cottonmouth secrets undermine action
          as angels circle out of reach.
Burn desire to edible ash.

Vultures dine.
We’re enemies of everything.
Burn this poem, untranslated.

Reading ruins language.
Our prayers bury flour.

Feathers thin our atmosphere.
Wings confuse congregations.
Still, we must listen.

Kid Ory plays echoed seventy-eights & needled graves
too deep to consider heartbreak.
Time ends, swallowing its tail.

We require less majestic legions.

Wasps recycle.

Lichen exists to counterweight hymns.
We reproduce out of fear of being alone.

Jason Dean Arnold’s writing has appeared in online and print journals and a recent performance (composed for eight musicians and readers), and in a recent performance at The Museum of Contemporary Art in Jacksonville (MoCA-Jax), Florida. He is currently the Learning Systems Architect at the University of Florida’s College of Education.