Steven Parlato

Bird Watching

No, I’ve

never scribed


field notes on plumage:

Jay’s blue-black striations,

Oriole’s tangerine-bright

underside, Redwing’s epaulets.

A casual observer, still, I’ve

thrilled at Cardinal’s flash, the lacy edge


of Dove’s splayed tail, have tried to mimic Finch

song. But today, sightings low, I’m on

alert, hunting neither hues nor

love lyrics. On lookout for

symptoms—eyes swollen, flight


tomorrow, when

the sky falls


Doves fly into the woman hands against the background of a sunny sunset during prayer..jpg

Steven Parlato’s poetry has appeared in Peregrine, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Freshwater, MARGIE, and other journals. Author of two young adult novels, The Namesake (2013) and The Precious Dreadful (2018), and a Professor of English and Art at Connecticut’s Naugatuck Valley Community College, Steve is currently at work on a series of collage portraits. Titled “They Are Not Disposable,” the works—using repurposed household junk—honor the lives of Black Americans stolen by racial violence. This issue, and our mistreatment of the Earth, are central to Parlato’s recent written and visual work. Learn more about his writing and art at:

About the Artist