The Bargain by Kenneth Pobo

His grandfather called Steve #1,
a perfect boy.  Perfection
is poison but it can soothe.
The family told him to lead
mourners to the casket.
He wanted wings to escape.
The black suit prevented flight,
Reynolds Funeral Home a cage.

At home, he fell asleep for
twelve hours, woke as a parrot,
uncaged in the living room.
He didn’t expect to become

a bird.  One day you’re
wearing black and the next
you’re green—which feels better
than the clunk of human bones,
a rolodex brain overstuffed
with repeating images.

Feathers landed in his corn flakes.
He perched on sorrow,
bargained with the window
to make it open just once.



Kenneth Pobo won the 2014 Blue Light Press Book Award for Bend of Quiet. They published it in 2015. His work has appeared in: Mudfish, Orbis, The Fiddlehead, Hawaii Review, and elsewhere. You can find him on Twitter @KenPobo