Good morning steadfastness

the mono-voice on the screen.


Sky’s smoke riddle, unsolvable.

Amber freeze unbreathing


in the photograph, bucolic in the

video clip. Dark strokes of cloud


approach. A Tornado blushes.

A jam stain bloodies your cuff.


Overnight, they made a pact

with your passport and though


you travelled nowhere, voted

nothing, they’ve signed you up—


airborne, implicit. In Tartous,

snooping through the derelict museum,


you signed the guestbook: War

on the Axis of Evil (2009).


A boy in a frayed Arsenal shirt

tugged at your sleeve saying Mister,


Mister, what are you doing here? 

Nobody comes here. 



James Byrne
Illustration Nick Victor



James’ new collection, Everything Broken Up Dances, is published in the United States by Tupelo:



White Coins, James Byrne’s poetry collection from Arc is available. Arc Publications – Books

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