John-Michael Bloomquist is a poet living in Bloomington, IN with his wife, where he teaches poetry at the Monroe County Jail and gift economics at the Crestmont Boys’ and Girls’ Club. He holds a dual-genre MFA degree in Poetry and CNF from Virginia Commonwealth University. His poetry has been published in The Tampa Review, The Carolina Quarterly, Third Coast and many more. He has forthcoming work in Painted Bride Quarterly and he is being nominated for a Pushcart by Matter. He is the founder of poetryfortrash.com, a public arts project that encourages gift economics as a solution to pollution.
Veve of Papa Legba
Oak leaves pocket the folds
of sun in harmonica
boxes. The sky, a nest fallen
with eggs, splays yellow
spotted clouds over the grass.
Above the tree with a streetlight
clipped to it, a sparrow watches
loose dogs go from door to doorstep…
The stadium is closed like a busy signal,
and the stacked highway pulls
a mosquito-net of exhaust
into the valley. After the water
through the levee deafened the reeds—
all remains a turnstile, debris in loam,
spices wrapped in linen-
St. Lazarus unbinds the white gate,
lets dogs tend to the wound.
Zodiac of the Sunflower
Your lips carried a crescent
to the scar on my shoulder
like a thin plow.
It's not just late night talk, the biography
of blood, commas in white sheets—
our crowns unfurled
the blue ornaments of Koi.
When lungs were a thousand
matches in a bulb (the acme of alveoli
in exchange), our braid of flesh
peeled a seed—
if the hand is to the eye a heart,
then touch was the root.