After Jenny George
Sunrise arrives just as it would anywhere.
A raccoon sleeps in the dry fountain of the main square.
Children drag dark red jump ropes along the streets behind them.
There is a local motto, but no one can remember quite what it is. Something to do with persistence.
Beekeeping is a popular pastime. There is always enough smoke and honey.
The shadow of the tallest building resembles a broken arm.
A feather is nailed upside-down above every doorway. This symbolizes a tongue.
Don’t ask me how they determine the correct direction of the feather.
A guard is always posted at the cemetery, because who knows for sure?
Everyone is the mayor. No one is the executioner.
Every book has been stolen from a library somewhere else.
Yes, even this one.
Nicky Beer is the author of The Octopus Game (Carnegie Mellon, 2015) and The Diminishing House (Carnegie Mellon 2010), both winners of the Colorado Book Award for Poetry. She has received awards and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation, the MacDowell Colony, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. She is an associate professor at the University of Colorado Denver, and a poetry editor for the journal Copper Nickel.