Spring 2021

There Are No Birds in My House

by Derek Graf

In the next stage of human evolution,
we’ll all be able to afford our groceries,
medical bills, abortions, and antiviral
prescriptions. The next stage
of human evolution will arrive
in the form of paid-in-full insurance
premiums, complimentary dental exams,
marriage counseling, and oil changes.

There are no birds in my house.
But as humans evolve into creatures
actually beautiful there might be
two birds or three birds in my house.

And when the evolutionary narrative
of human life begins a new chapter,
every morsel of dirt I have collected
under my fingernails will flush toward
the drain as I stand naked
in my very own shower, in my home
that has no rent or mortgage.
Every loan is already approved
in the next stage of human evolution.
Prepare your house for the birds.


Derek Graf’s poems have been featured in The Journal, Portland Review, Salt Hill, The Boiler, and elsewhere. He received his MFA from Oklahoma State University and his PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Kansas. He currently teaches writing and literature in Oklahoma City.

Spring 2021