Smoky Quartz (SiO2), J. MacBain

sap, leaves, trees
heat a cauldron in their perfect

the tops of buildings grow out of mountains
radiance absorbing

the nature equation

steel + foliage =
a red carpet entrance
a brightness we rarely

nothing real and aching
spends $26 on berry bars

People rush into offices, store their

build an emotional bridge Egyptian style
open wounds and dragging
the stones which always hit the same

but this ancient
rock is supposed to ground me
receive my flowered

broadcast a focused energy

begin by reversing fall into summer


J. MacBain-Stephens lives in the Midwest and is the author of four full length poetry collections: “Your Best Asset is a White Lace Dress,” (Yellow Chair Press, 2016) “The Messenger is Already Dead,” (Stalking Horse Press, 2017,) “We’re Going to Need a Higher Fence,” tied for first place in the 2017 Lit Fest Book Competition, and “The Vitamix and the Murder of Crows,” is recently out from Apocalypse Party. Work has been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize. Recent work can be seen at or is forthcoming from The Pinch, Black Lawrence Press, Quiddity, Prelude, Cleaver, Yalobusha Review, Zone 3, and Grist.

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