Anne Cheilek

The Morning After

Lipsticked tulip heads
clogged with midnight
tipple, now grounded,
bills down,
swans at the end
of a thousand miles.
Lawns of flattened grass
after the storm rolled
there, a great horse of rain
let itch in the fields
of night. Not fallen but washed out,
a thread of rainbow
floating on gutter-water. Fat
father robin thrashes there,
gathering glitter into his feathers,
then lifts his brilliant burden
like a latter-day covenant
sent from earth to the sky,
where such vainglory belongs.


Heart of Stone

This poem is about how easy it is
to dig I love you into wet cement
with an extemporaneous stick,
and how hard it is to erase the sentiment
once it sets.
This poem is about jackhammers
and bulldozers. It is about conflict diamonds
forged in wedlock, and how free
fracking can rouse crypto-vulcanism
even in the plains.
This poem is about buried scenarios
bubbling up, oozing into the light, manifesting
as lava ropes and gangways; it's about trying
to summon hate, and achieving
only flatness.
This poem is about stones—
their phases, their facets, their cosmological
seasons. This poem recommends
the way a stone waits
and what for


Anne Cheilek is a writer, editor, and musician who lives and works in Silicon Valley but dreams of the wind in the redwoods.