Carelessweed (Amaranthus palmeri)

Cultivated for food before the ships
      and horses came, it now grows six feet tall

between the cotton rows, and poisonous
      with our fertilizers, whorling heavenward

in volutions of deep-veined leaves whose size
      decrease, receding finally to the spire  

of its pale inflorescence—its only care
      in the world to grow closer to the sky.

Kevin Casey’s work is forthcoming or has appeared recently in Rust+Moth, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Gulf Stream, Chiron Review, and other publications. His chapbook The wind considers everything was published last year by Flutter Press, and the full-length collection And Waking was released this year by Bottom Dog Press. For more, visit