Chaim ben Avram


A finch flew away

Before the storm,
before one can call it

by its corners,
by its nearly sanded-down
corners, and sky

Sky of genesis un-
authored, sky
of suicidal leap
and whorl of racing
up city this

City of backwater century,
of last last spring’s thaw,
city of spayed forest
and closets never fully
unpacked this

last city,
the city before the city


The last letter she kept
locked inside her
like a second gospel

her shoulders there,
by the window of her
unladed features

We make talk by that window
cold, better actually dirty
than blue

blue between the storm,
storm born of all years,
years of November

Year before the skyline traveled,
hence never fully unpacking
rust: starry hiccups,
the costliness,
the coast

The shore before the dank sea space
the finch springs into ( handless )
with nowhere staying stars sprung

Finch, who drills scared in earth,
drills with porous bills of pine

Above fly,
above morsels of

Finch of double bottom boats
and throwaway film: woods
sent to pasture to full life
in a camera this

City of cement
between conscious tiles
and skin

skin of suspicion,
skin coerced
and muscled into jargon this

City of rioting mirrors,
of permissible film set: technology
before it cost us the stars

City in the eye of a deer,
in the mineral eye
of October:
raised on the dune,
grass before landfall these

Streets of unmoored jetty
and vacant seas

Sea and two lone swimmers
in inked ravine

Ravine satisfactory to ricochet
and bluff,
ricochet and bluff,
and unstuck

Stars they count aloud,
the city roof unpacked in trees


Chaim ben Avram is a writer from Philadelphia. He currently lives, writes, and teaches in Honolulu, Hawai’i.