Two Poems by Ryan Downum


What Remains is Modesty 

I gnaw at the moon
with a wrong set of teeth.

A man swallows fire
with sticks in his throat.

Everything so small
in the dark!

There are many ways to hide
secrets in static, in birdsongs.

How to enunciate maps
of threaded ghosts.

The only thing I can give
you is a vision of drifting.



A Calendar With No Sense of Urgency 

If you think about something
long enough in the rain,

you’re bound to feel guilty.
I sit with leaves on my lap.

My cat swats at nothing
in the kitchen corner.

Some things are better said
as an elegy. Some days, it’s

feeling like a vampire.
Some days, it’s feeling

like a tiny boat at the edge
of an expanding darkness.


Ryan Downum is a recent graduate from Knox College. Poems of his have been published in H_NGM_N, BOAAT, Pretty Owl Poetry, Witch Craft Magazine, and Bear Review.