Black Oil, by William Kemmett, 2010


Black Oil

By: William Kemmett

Igneus Press



Black Oil

I know the part of me

I accept, so well.

When the dime-size

bald spot in the back

of my head turned

into a half moon, I

stopped worrying.


I remember when

the screech of metal

breaking metal was subway

to hell between a crossword

puzzle and the sports page

of an eye calibrated

to compensate a sudden stop.


There is a riot

of razor-billed blackbirds

behind a smiling billboard

no one seems to notice.


Fifty years and

fifty feet away

the birds are a fiery red

at the sunflower seeds

that have taken root

by the birdfeeder –


Arrayed in the random

wind and rain. Nothing

is lost, and the black seeds

of the sun bloom into

huge lilies reaching

for the light.


from Black Oil, Igneus Press/deadCpress, Bedford, NHj/Boston, MA, 2010, p.26.