Concrete and Cabbages by Joshua Barnhart

Have you ever seen the sun set 
through the grip of a palm frond?

The way tangerine and lavender cuts
through the leaves? The way 

the leaves cut through 
flesh if pressed? A young frond 

emerges folded, the area called
the cabbage. The city 

skyline is littered with sharp 
cabbages tilting their heads. I once saw 

an overgrown palm drop 
with a sigh. The serrated 

green landed on the hood 
of a parked car. I’ve seen them 

come and go, another season
another family of owls nesting 

in the highest tuft, their quiet life
like a poem, pollen hanging 

on the evening. They sing an alien 
love song for the gloaming. I guess 

I don’t know much 
about owls, only my own silent drift,

the quiet fervor when the sun 
sinks low, the soft moon. Dreams 

scurry the dirt lots 
and laneways, wander the never-

dark night, and I contemplate sky
cabbages and owls, the coyote 

tip-toeing Silver Lake Blvd., missing cat
posters stapled to the skinny tree trunks.

Joshua Barnhart (he/they) is a poet, educator, and musician from California who performs music under the name Strange Pilgrim. Their first chapbook, Paper Ghosts, is out from Bottlecap Press, and their work has also been featured in Blue Mountain Review and The Coachella Review. He earned a BA in English from UC Berkeley and graduated from Oregon State University’s MFA program. Josh currently lives, works, and performs in Portland, OR.