Stephen Taylor


Petrarch in the 21st Century

Oh why, my love, have you unfriended me?
I rest my cheek against the screen’s warm glass
and curse the firewall I cannot pass
and long to post my joyous misery.
No text has space enough to hold my praise—
these characters form much too small a store—
and so my trembling hands send hundreds more,
and this is how I spend my lonely days.
I tweet my pleas, a lost bird at your window,
weary of flight and eager for your cage,
and yet my warbled notes incite your rage
so hunters come to seek me in the shadow.
Your captive will not long for his release
though sick at heart that you called the police.

Stephen Taylor teaches writing and mythology at Glendale College. He has won an L.A. Arts Council Literature Award and the 2004 Main Street Rag Short Fiction Contest, and has been a two-time finalist and last year one of three Honorable Mentions in The Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction given by Nimrod International Journal. His first story collection, Cut Men, was published by MSR in 2005, and a new collection will appear soon.