To Enact a Change in the Way I Talk to Strangers

Ryan Downum

I drink coffee next to this hodgepodge of bicycles. In discarded drawers, I keep my owl-shaped thoughts of owl-shaped clouds. In another silence at the other end of the forest, every version of myself stuffing movie theater tickets into jacket pockets. I think about how far I would need to walk to reach a scarecrow. An eroding distance.

Ryan Downum holds an MFA in poetry from the University of Idaho, where he received the 2020 Academy of American Poets Prize. His poems appear in jubilat, Reality Beach, DATABLEED, Pouch, and elsewhere.