Penultimate Diurnal Disease
by Robin Scofield

I hear you calling St. Francis as you walk
away from my name toward the sparrow
whom God dropped into a thorny bush
worth two with a raccoon. Your big-eyed
look spells an excited optic nerve,
the retina marking upside down
a fountain where we throw broken coins.

My heart’s Q-wave crosses the lines.
I shiver at the barrels of potassium and salt
that have gone down with all hands
on a sea of shiny cups. I move
your curtains to one side. 
You are a carved wooden hand in
the poinsettia, Flor de Buena Noche.

Inside thick walls, orange trees
and bells draw us out of our names.
You feel otherness wherever you go,
you have more than a name.
Four names convict me of crimes
in the early morning. I know
I’m not at my best when the sky’s

full of ink and orange rinds, 
the debris of the comet without the light.
I bear orders from the six directions
and count time from a square center.
Your voice is a bare twig growing 
from a cliff in the fog on the day
the parrots left the four columns.
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About barkingsycamores 183 Articles
Barking Sycamores is a literary journal entirely edited and operated by queer neurodivergent people of color. We publish poetry, artwork, short fiction (beginning with Issue 3), creative nonfiction (beginning with Issue 8), and hybrid genre work (beginning with Issue 9) by emerging and established neurodivergent writers as well as essays on neurodiversity and literature and book reviews (beginning with Issue 10).

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