Fall 2017 (Volume 21, Issue I)




It’s snowing sideways, flakes
like atoms with no place to go,
papery petals that parallel
the gusty earth.  Always the guest,

I have always a question, a dream
welling upside down from
the veiled sheet of stars: it’s wild,
I know, but the answer hasn’t

been to praise it like you would
a lean train of coyotes loping
across the road, or daffodils
if they could grow by moonlight,

thumbing their frilly noses
at the centuries of human
sacrifice and bloody cargo, or
stones cracking in the absence

and failure of trees to fashion
language from water and light.
No, it’s the old song’s old story:
the farmer in his field, the family

at their morning table, the spider
plucking her eight steps to the kill.
Wood, dirt, blanket, leaf, even
thighs—even eyebrows over open

lashes that fan the face that bars
the door that says goodbye.  Now
only flecks that nevertheless
fly like phrases, the snow joins

the ground around the house,
all the little letters piling like books,
vowels like birdsong marking
this digression into early spring.

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