Iron and Salt

Jesse Holth

The birds disappeared
one day, skies growing 

quiet, eerie. Failing to notice
the way songs were traded 

for silence. The click and grind
of machine, inorganic engines 

purring. Fired up, ready
to crack the air, cleaved 

like splitting logs. Iron
and salt, bleeding. This 

is how we know, birds
will not sing us to sleep, 

in the end. We’ll simply
listen to the lifeless tick- 

tick-tick of a metronome
we built without trying.


Jesse Holth is a writer, editor, and poet based in Victoria, BC. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in over a dozen international publications, including Grain Magazine, Eastern Iowa Review, Barzakh Magazine, and others. She received Honorable Mention for the 2018 Christine Prose Poetry Award, and serves as Assistant Poetry Editor at The Tishman Review.