Locusts gather
in clouds of themselves
shedding skin like rain,
each drop a decoy for crows
flying low over furrows, shadows
above shadows, rising
and falling with each peak
and trough, beaks opened wide
as if to swallow the sky.

The field has given all
it can give. Near the barn,
last year’s grasses wrapped
in bales stand rotted and safe.

Trees leaved with locusts
chatter like rattlers
to fireflies burning
holes in the dark.
The rafters of the barn
grow heavy with blackbirds
breathing in the night.

Kip Knott’s most recent book of poetry, Tragedy, Ecstasy, Doom, and so on, is available from Kelsay Books. He has new writing forthcoming in La Piccioletta Barca, Northern Appalachia Review, perhappened, and Still: The Journal. More of his work can be accessed at

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