Paying Attention


J.I. Kleinberg





A crow in a bad mood

with a sore throat

hopped and squawked


around the open skylight

above my bed until I woke

fully, then left. Is it too late


to learn to sing? You never

use exclamation points,

your seriousness an engine


that shifts lower and lower

until it is nearly inaudible,

the color of silence. I cannot


claim to understand orchids

but a single weekly ice cube

has inspired a third season


of magenta blooms. Is it

too late for abandon?

The crow circles, alarming.









Artist, poet and freelance writer J.I. Kleinberg is a Best of the Net and Pushcart nominee.  Her poetry has appeared in December, One, Diagram, Otoliths, Pedestal, Psaltery & Lyre and elsewhere.  She lives in Bellingham, Washington, and posts frequently at and