Three Poems by Joe Love

The Great Theft


This great white page, this space—

this new morning unfolding

birds, sun, trash trucks, car alarms,


points in infinite directions.


The keys are on the bar,

the car is on the lot

six stories down.


We could go anywhere.


Put the key in the ignition—

The balloons of dialogue

await in hungry anticipation.







A bird is thing with which

                                                     I have not flown.

In dreams have I, in dreams.

They descend

and I do not struggle,

                                                     cannot struggle,


for I am the air

through which I fall


against the creeping,

                                                     the mud, that speaks;


that tells on me every night

                                                     like a jealous oracle


bereft of disengagement,

                                                     like Cassandra—


I tell the truth

                                                     and it takes flight.






  The Tree Goes to Sleep


The tree is bedding down for the night

putting away its book of poems,

brushing away the cookie crumbs.


A bird lifts it leg to let loose some lint

which sails away toward the moon

to find its own rest.


The lamp has been hung high in the sky

and all the stories have been

told to the end.


So saying goodnight the tree goes to sleep

to the sound of its own leaves rustling

like fingers pulling up sheets.






Joe Love is an artist, musician, and poet living in St. Louis. He teaches writing and literature at universities both the east and the west sides of the Arch. His work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Poetry Pacific, Poetry Super Highway, The Oddville Press, Crack the Spine, Bangalore Review, From the Depths, Drunk Monkeys, Bellowing Ark, and other journals.