Daniel Blokh

First Generation

The man was like a bird
who walked, lacking wings
or feathers. And he had

no beak. His hands not taloned
twigs but hands, like mine
though not - they were a bird’s.

His fury was with sun
not lifting him, with overhead
flock who failed to grab

him from his boring park bench
as they passed. He opened
his mouth to show them - teeth

but a bird’s teeth, hungry for that sky
that made them, crooked under
the weight of being bird.

They passed, smeared into distance
then erased entirely. And he folded
his newspaper, and stood, and looked

in disbelief at us, his nation of Men.
We did not meet his eyes. We had
no time to spare for Birds.



Daniel Blokh is a senior at the Alabama School of Fine Arts in Birmingham, AL. His work often concerns his Russian-Jewish immigrant parents and his experience as a first-generation American. His work has won Princeton’s Lawrence L. Milberg Poetry Prize and been published in the The Kenyon Review, Cosmonaut’s Avenue, Cleaver, Permafrost, Blueshift, and more. Daniel is the author of the creative nonfiction book In Migration (BAM! Publishing, 2017) and two poetry chapbooks, Holding Myself Hostage in the Kitchen (Lit City Press, 2017) and GRIMMENING (Diode Editions, 2018).