Tyler Mills is the author of Tongue Lyre, which won the 2011 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award and will be published by Southern Illinois University Press in February 2013. Her poems have received magazine awards from the Crab Orchard Review, Gulf Coast, and Third Coast and have appeared in the Antioch Review, Georgia Review, Poetry Northwest, TriQuarterly Online, and elsewhere. She has been the recipient of a work-study scholarship from Bread Loaf and is currently pursuing a PhD in creative writing at the University of Illinois-Chicago.
A whale is in your future: hidden
under chopped-up water, and dumb.
The augurs know from the white-out
splashes, sea birds bobbing numbly
until lifting in a patch of wind.
They will land elsewhere altogether.
Gulls will cover the sand, skull-pale,
picking at nothing. All will turn black.
They will eat your trail of crumbs.
So this sounds invented?
So grackles will too descend:
oily blue plumage, each tail the wedge
of a sculptor’s tool
you could pick up at a junk sale,
the driveway grouped
with people slow-moving
past milk crates of wild—
the sinews no longer hold the flesh
and bones together—
linseed-greased and more
and more naked, dolls.