First Landing Jump

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Contributor: Neil Ellman

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(after the combine by Robert Rauschenberg)


“Jump,” he said, with a mouse-squeal voice,
then a cat’s growl, and then the hiss
of a snake through grass.


And then: a rusted license plate
light reflector reflecting stars
a tire hanging on a wooden barrier
like a tie on a fresh-starched shirt
while a firefly flickers blue light
on and off and on and off.


“What.” too late, the shrill of brakes
too late and then
as if too soon a barking dog
at its own remains

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Twice nominated for Best of the Net, Neil Ellman lives and writes in New Jersey. His poems, many of which are ekphrastic and based on works of modern and contemporary art, appear in numerous print and online journals throughout the world.


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