Paradise / by Andy Stallings

She eats the slice of cake

slowly over three mornings,

stores it in the refrigerator, a

few bites each breakfast,

savors the lingering sense of

“getting away with it,”

frosting first and frosting last.

Between one city park and

another. Where there were

morning birds, we always

found rocks, always found

water, always found bushes

and trees. In the dignified

room, their behavior was

anything but. The curtains

separated light but didn’t

block its entrance. Nor ought

it, in his opinion at least. It

troubles the poinsettia in the

lobby. And any longer we

didn’t need to set our kitchen

up before we cooked, though

only as of late.





Andy Stallings lives, teaches, and coaches cross country running at Deerfield Academy in Western Massachusetts. His first book of poems, To the Heart of the World, came out with Rescue Press in 2014, and other poems from Paradise can be found around the internet.