unheard music

you swallowed a songbird
its beak stuck
on the same wrong note
this is no time
for minor melodies


what you don’t reveal
becomes an antique map
brown ink drains
from continents
I always ask for too little

urban jungle

sun sets, sexed flowers open
teenagers screech bat songs
hysterical with their sense of
freedom in the dark

the mauve question

this is your heart
this is a deer I befriended
who comes in the dusk to eat roses
does it see colour or is it
the scent of something tender?

—Barbara Black

Source: Don’t Talk To Me About Love 2017 Poetry Contest, First Prize winner.