Lives of the Rabbits

Two poems by David Welch

If we are / to accept the rabbits of autumn, asked / the audience, must we accept also the green / life of the bird on the tree, how it looks like a leaf / as it pales


Lives of the Rabbits
     after Brigit Pegeen Kelly

Havoc was a thing without wings but trying,
said the boy, as I remember
from my dream. The audience moved
and thought slowly on the unthinkable. Incapacity.
Love. Or when least expected the afternoon
comes into its own, the sun examining the oak
with a particularly autumnal indifference
to color, such yellow hair falling out, covering
the ground as if a shoulder to cry on. The audience
listened and crept closer to an idea. If we are
to accept the rabbits of autumn, asked
the audience, must we accept also the green
life of the bird on the tree, how it looks like a leaf
as it pales, the color no longer localized, no longer
waiting in the wings where the havoc of blood blues
against the feathered root, as if beneath
blooming bluegrass in the field. No, said the boy.
In the dream, the light is fading, an abundance
of color combs across the horizon, the lip
beneath the treeline trussing the torn trunks
and flowerbeds razed in a white fit
of ears. In the dream, the idea twitches,
said the audience. The bed is set back,
remade. Lain down like a child. The root is
dreamt sweetly, sweetly. Until what’s sweet dies.


The White Endlessness
    a translation for Jack Spicer

Snowblind, he climbs aboard
a carpet woven
with pigeon feathers, phantoms

of thumbs quivering
inside the frost.

How pure we imagine our imaginations
will be driven.

Blind, we see the salt
spreading, a weed
across the distant snow.


David Welch is the author of a chapbook, It Is Such a Good Thing to Be In Love with You (The Laurel Review/Midwest Chapbook Series, 2015), and has published poems in journals including AGNI, Pleiades, and Volt. The recipient of awards from the Academy of American Poets, the Poetry Society of America, and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Welch lives in Chicago and teaches at DePaul University where he is Assistant Director of Publishing & Outreach. His work in this issue of New Limestone Review is from his first full-length collection of poems, Everyone Who Is Dead, just out from Spork Press. Visit him virtually at