Lightning and Love

There are dogs shivering uncontrollably
beneath beds made of more complicated

love. They’ve mastered the art of begging,
live in the shadows of this late summer,

the humid air wearing away instinct after
instinct. It gets ugly in the grass after a dry

spell, nitrogen’s of no use, cicada sounds
rip through the trees as roots get edgy and thin.

Horizons are thick and gray with warnings,
the sky hurling thunder as far as it can until

it becomes no more than some barrier
broken—an apple against the earth,

a book finding its way back to a shelf—
too much, too close, too long.


George Bishop’s work has appeared in The Commonline Journal and New Plains. Forthcoming work will be featured in FLARE. Bishop won the 2013 Peter Meinke Prize at YellowJacket Press for his sixth chapbook “Following Myself Home.” He attended Rutgers University and now resides in Saint Cloud, Florida.