Isaac Pickell


Jen Mei Soong

We all hear prophecy from the canopy

Isaac Pickell

where life refuses its flatness, forgetting
it has nothing to do but sound, no job

no instructional manual

                & then someone said the death of a scream
                & then someone said weeping in the tangerine

glow of the check engine light & then someone,
of the spring sky, almost distressingly bright and blue
beneath stillstark brownbarren trees, said you’re still expecting
a backdrop that’s raw and gray
with uncanny specificity

                & then someone said the end of rainbow
                & then someone said like the closet, the attic is

no solitary act & if the whole is dark enough
                any squiggle can call itself a flower.

Isaac Pickell is a Black and Jewish poet and PhD student in Detroit. He is the author of everything saved will be last (Black Lawrence Press, 2021) and It’s not over once you figure it out (Black Ocean, forthcoming 2023), and his recent work appears in Brevity, Copper Nickel, Denver Quarterly, FENCE, and Swamp Pink. Isaac’s taken a seat in all fifty states and has so much to look forward to.