Kevin Heaton

Kevin Heaton is originally from Kansas and Oklahoma, and now lives and writes in South Carolina. His work has appeared in a number of publications including: Guernica, Rattle, Slice Magazine, Beloit Poetry Journal, The Adroit Journal and Verse Daily. He is a Best of the Net, Best New Poets, and three-time Pushcart Prize nominee.

Scars & Empty Vases

Van Gogh’s mad ear enflamed a field
of purple irises—marring the face of
a sleeping homeless man. Artists render

people like pastels & watercolors.
The wounded gather shopping carts & talk
about Jesus, their smiles resemble burn

scars. They tape magazine clippings
to bedroom mirrors & blow cigarette smoke
into perfect images, hoping to see a heartbeat.

Liars parse sermons like ravens, then genuflect
at driftwood crosses & line their egos
with Cardinal feathers—change sangria

into green tea. Would that I were sickle
& whetstone—a reaper of men, or palette
& canvas—the turned cheek of Christ.