This poem is taken from Stand 217, 16(1) March - April 2018.

Laura Tansley Two Poems
Bird photography

She takes time and light, traps them in wings. Don’t move, hold still, she says, even though this jay is calm, hollow bones splayed in frozen airless flight. Bound to her subject, holding stillness in a frame, the thread anklet worn by a mindful magpie is tethered to the two-dimensional subject she has seduced and is holding, still. Aroused by captivity, disturbed by authenticity, studio abstractions become printed problems: she knows she’s a contradiction, a cloacal fuse of finches perched on the outstretched fingers of Disney princesses, and her preying dilated gaze

This summer I thought I had dysgeusia

For two febrile days milk tasted sour,
with sultry bacteria, slick with tang and dandelion-bitter
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