He is the quince
and she is the sparrow
trapped in his snarl, his heart
of thorns, jangled twigs.
No easy way out.

Or rather, she is the quince
and he is the sparrow
craving the nectar
of her locked blossoms,
crimson on the bud.

Egress? There’s always flight.
The sky is where he left it
before falling feather-heavy
into her bramble.
Yet he lingers, and so does she —

nested-twins, each both keeper
and kept, wanting neither
a sawblade nor a thunderclap
to startle them from this snare,
not yet.

T. Clear is one of the founders of Floating Bridge Press, and remembers its earliest days in Peter Pereira’s basement where a small group of poets gathered to give feedback on each other’s work had a notion to start a small press. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Poetry Northwest, Cascadia Review, Atlanta Review, The Moth, Crab Creek Review, Terrain, Common Ground Review and elsewhere. She has been nominated for both a Pushcart Prize and the Independent Best American Poetry prize.

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