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Gary Leising

Gary+Leising+author+photoGary Leising is the author of the book, The Alp at the End of My Street, from Brick Road Poetry Press (2014). He has also published three poetry chapbooks: The Girl with the JAKE Tattoo (Two of Cups Press, 2015), Temple of Bones (Finishing Line Press, 2013), and Fastened to a Dying Animal (Pudding House, 2010) He lives in Clinton, New York, with his wife and two sons, where he teaches creative writing and poetry as a professor of English.


Cleaning His Room

my child finds a cache of crayons, all yellow,
points worn away, useless for precise art,
half the lot snapped in halves,
and this committee of finch-colored sticks
nests in paper-shreds a buttery hue,
frays of their sheath-wraps,
relic-shrouds of exhumed saints
whose bodies glow, proof of miracle
on the way to canonization. Why
only yellow, I ask. He shrugs, then
clarifies they were really dandelion,
showing me the label with diente de
león and pissenlit translating the shade.
This waxy wanderlust, its glue-like
tack to your fingers, beams
yellower than yellow, more like
the testosterone-glow of a sports drink,
chemical-energy-packed power pop.
Yet the wrappers are dull and tint-marked
by other colors filling out sold packs—
how many sets were bought to get this
covey of identicals? He can’t remember
how this treasury came to be,
why he joined these in his drawer
then he’s on to something else, yet I
want to search his room when he’s at school,
wondering what monochromatic masterwork
he’s forgotten in a drawer, an elementary
school version of Rothko or Malevich’s
Red Square in dandelion on printer paper
shoeboxed under the bed, maybe a series,
his Dandelion Period, or perhaps one
artfully arranged word—but what
would he choose?—like Indiana’s Love.


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