Would’ve Been Could’ve Been

But only one was

an astute enough navigator

through the precarious tunnels,

and strong enough to break

through the egg’s rigid shell.

A monikered tadpole.

An industrious radical.

A traveler transformed

into a cellular stronghold.

She blasted off to blastocyst

nine months passed.

She’s near to seeing it all-

including the ill harmonies

coagulated by politicians

and pharmaceutical companies.

She’ll see black men shot

in the street by white police,

and hijabs dangerously discrete.

But first I’ll hold her

like mountains do moonlight,

and kiss her gently

like moonlight does mountains.

Walk with her and tell stories

of how mother nature grew up,

and about the transformation

of squiggling tadpoles

into slimy frogs.



Disc Golf

Like clogged gutters I spill

jokes and throw another disc

toward the chainmail basket.

If I were a misanthrope

I’d believe such activities as pointless

as mashing an elevator button with hopes

of increasing the mechanic’s speed.

Clanking – I secure par.

Skiz asks about my pending baby nerves

as Ian curves his disc to a miss,

it popped off a root into the brush.

It’s like this game, I explained,

I’ll take a hopeful shot and know

I could end up lost and farther

from where I was, or fly straight

winning par. We crack a beer and cheers

before wandering into brush,

searching for the lost disc.



A Swarm Imagined, Realized

In the middle of the forest

all you see is more forest.

I imagine a gravid swarm

of the same aptitude, flying,

where all that’s seen is wings

and bodies twisting like tornados

within one another,

and foggy motion revealing the underneath

as a fan does the ceiling.

I painted it with grasshoppers –

using motion like Balla’s bowlegged dachshund

in a psychedelic pallet.

If all things exist,

I dread meeting my swarm.

I’ll paddle through with boards of thorn

until I emerge from the ponderous wood.


–Maxwell Redder

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