Laurie Saurborn Young


No linear blessing, only a pink
Paper umbrella, tanked lobsters

Waving wide claws and the friend
Who stops calling. A father who says

Green-black grackles in the yard
Tell him to walk back inside.

Stubbornly I focus, though some
Force persists in twisting

This lens. Insists on removing
My country. Now what flag, if any,

May I fly? As a child I signaled
Back to the lobsters; I kept the trinkets

Gracing adult drinks in my top
Dresser drawer. No matter how often

You rake, the oak leaves still float down.
No matter what you believe, the phone

Calls out again. After all this
What world is it where a bird

Tells a man to go and he does?


Talking Into My Hat

What could happen if clouds
undressed themselves at night

instead of knocking on my door,

                 begging unlace, untie?

My dog is blind and most
stars as well, so we can get

away with anything. With a rust
red hawk perching

                 on the wire—though might it fall
apart in my hands?

We will become exactly
what we’ll become, by which

I mean Mickela carries
persimmons to a distant morning

market. By which I mean I pull my hat

over my face to spend time among
any other thought. Rumor

                 indicates this train moves

exactly as it should, toward some
god of Carthage.

Or is it carnage? I forget.

Days of the week, their burnt
edges and smells—

I don’t forget them. Where is the little

man who unicycles my heart?
I have never seen a picture of my

self as a child but I am not

thinking of our souls at all.


Upon Learning of the Word Everlasting

Chinese elms, they laugh. Auburn

cat on the sofa, he smiles too.
What else to say of a broken

binding or a rabbit bounding
back at dawn? Planets converge

but oh yea they falleth apart in great
haste. Tilting windmills stand

giant in my kitchen. I stop kissing
strangers but breathing is escape

so I swim four times a week. Dogs
don’t feel this guilty watching prayer

wheels spin in Bhutan. It is inquired
how we spend our days & well we pass

them in their counting. Sister bright,
one like me wakes in a country

nearing this, among snowy
plovers faintly heard. A lover

asleep, a cat’s paw alighting
on her arm. A heart somewhere

coming closer than it should.
Setting a willow afire I recall who

we are, yard and air one listing
satellite. An old blonde dog

lifted up the steps. And yea verily
we cannot contain our celebration!


Laurie Saurborn Young is the author of Carnavoria and Patriot. Her second book of poems,Industry of Brief Distraction, is forthcoming from Saturnalia Books. A portfolio of her photography work is online at She lives in Austin, Texas.