What could I say
What should I have said
And what did I say

Next time
I’ll chirp like a bird
Let a dove reclaim

From the detritus
Of a wanton confidence
So I might say

What I could say
What I should say
That said

I am polishing
My arpeggios just in case
We’d be better served

By silent music
The bird that words
Would only scare away

James B. Nicola

James B. Nicola’s poetry has garnered two Willow Review awards, a Dana Literary award, seven Pushcart nominations, and one Best of the Net nom. His full-length collections include "Manhattan Plaza, Stage to Page: Poems from the Theater, Wind in the Cave" (2017), "Out of Nothing: Poems of Art and Artists" (2018), "Quickening: Poems from Before and Beyond" (2019), and "Fires of Heaven: Poems of Faith and Sense" (2021). A Yale grad, he also has enjoyed a career as a stage director, culminating in the nonfiction book "Playing the Audience: The Practical Guide to Live Performance", which won a Choice award.