“Animus” by Zachary Bos

The Tree of Crows by Caspar David Friedrich

The Tree of Crows by Caspar David Friedrich


If I did as I long to do, and kept
my eyes only ever directed upwards
to watch the lavender birds in their flight,
Perhaps I’d stumble. You might then end up
crushed beneath my feckless foot. Oh, ha, and
who would sob, upon seeing the helix
of your petty ego mashed into paste
like a stepped-on snail, and a noisy
gull swooping in to make a snack of you.
I would not sob then; but for now I shall
try to forgive your mean unkindnesses
for I have seen the gulls of Bonaparte
winging through the cat-pelt yellow dawn fog,
have heard their cries, and know you never will.


Zachary Bos and his fiance are principals in a literary nonprofit, the Boston Poetry Union, and they supervise the projects and staff of its imprint, the Pen & Anvil Press. Bos splits his attention between literary work and secular activism. He has had work published in The Christian Science Monitor, Clarion, Bellevue Literary Review, and Psychic Meatloaf, among others. As an editor, he has worked for Fulcrum, News from the Republic of Letters, Little Star, and a good number of other publications. He did his MFA workshops with Robert Pinsky and Louise Gluck, and studied translation with Rosanna Warren. His father was born in the Netherlands, so when he reads “Van Gogh” he hears it in his mind’s ear in the Dutch manner, to rhyme with “Fine Cough.”

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