Victoria Korth


Evening, like any other Friday in late winter, rain
turning to snow, sun around four, the stylist at Jared’s saying

it will be warmer soon.

On the arm of the couch a stink bug walks with slow stretchy steps.
I put it on the windowsill, knowing it will be back

attracted by the lamp. Check the app for my daughter’s plane:
delays in the evening.
       The phone lights
       with my brother’s face.

I had not thought he would call this year, not after the incident, his anger.
In the quiet, I answer.

The diamond shaped carapace lands, motionless now as he speaks
       rapidly, loudly. The plane is in flight,

a small circle moving across the simple map towards the lettering of our city.

My brother’s voice is suddenly lovely,
not because he is making amends, he did no wrong,

but because his body rests in the evening.

Bicknell’s Thrush

The Finch Pruyn lands are home to over ninety species of birds,
including the imperiled Bicknell’s thrush.
Nature Conservancy Newsletter

I read in a rush to help as this nearly weightless thing, balanced
on fine, electric legs, beak wide, creamy breast feathers dappled
with spots that mimic the shadows of leaves, sings to me.

More penetrant than an oboe, urgent, sweet, territorial, settling
a boundary with other males, composing the central portion of its song
with a purpose not yet understood, it is imperiled and I, with it, in peril.

Having heard John’s gospel read each year for forty years, somehow
today, behind the autistic parishioners who stretch back touching us,
I hear why no one recognized him, except the women, who were silent.

I would like to hear the naked thrush before there are no more.
I would like to fly up towards it with more than my portion of joy,
glancing through arched branches for its flame-like head, unfurling
from the center of my life into brief persistent song.

Victoria Korth

Victoria Korth is an MFA graduate of the Warren Wilson College Program for Writers. Poems have appeared in Ocean State Review, Tar River Poetry, Ithacalit, Spoon River Poetry Review, Worcester Review, Barrow Street and widely elsewhere. She has twice been long listed for the Montreal International Poetry Prize. Her chapbook, Cord Color, was released from Finishing Line Press in 2015. She lives in Rochester, NY, where she is a practicing psychiatrist working with the chronically mentally ill.