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Conrad Hilberry

Author

Sorting the Smoke

If all things were turned to smoke, the nostrils would                   distinguish them. —Heraclitus I In the thick smoke, the nostrils lift and sniff: cedar roof beams, the soggy blanket that has hung all these years in the she [...]

Night Sky With Tree

She cuts away the moon, lifts out the stars. Holding the knife precisely in her fist, she carves away the branches of the sassafras, hollowing the fragrant, mittened leaves. She inks the block and prints: an empty sky, patterned by curving absences, [...]

Mexico: Explosions At 4:00 Am

1 Into our alien sleep drop these slow explosions: black black, They executed Maximilian not far from here; are they lining up the foreigners again to shoot them one by one? Or is some crazed soldier lobbing grenades over the rim of the mountain? May [...]

The Dog

A man sits in the night air drinking a last cup of tea. He pushes aside the plates and serving dishes and begins listing the letters he must write, the bills he must pay. Inside, his youngest daughter is practicing the oboe. He never believed that an [...]

Omens

Apollo's shrine at Sura, sacred fish in a tank foretold the future as they schooled or scattered, circled or flashed off to the right. The fountain at Daphne murmured prophecies. The priestess of Apollo at Epirus tended a pit of serpents in the holy [...]