DEAR CREATURE,

 

The tentacular roads unwind from the shed. Stars have ignited, burned, extinguished.The new minerals were explained in the evening. I was thought of as just average. Eating a cup of berries was supposed to cut down on one’s level of boredom. I ate the berries formedbymosquito bites off my ankles. The weather remained blustery. Over our city they held asheetand wrote prayers on it – for money, for hatred, for painful deaths to one’s enemies,goatswith eloquent tongues. Ohio was a long, long ways to the east, though we named ourselves Chris, The People of the Tennis Courts. This is difficult, Creature, to not be a creature. My fingers are sticky with honey. Peanuts cake the cavities of my teeth. The usualmorningusuals have been attended to, yet I’m not a freelancer. I am not a hunter of weevils andthetics are in my armpits. I give nothing useful to myself or to the hard crusts of elk curingin the spruces. Creature you would be best to leave me stuck here in Idaho with a belt through my head.

 

Love,

Keith

IN A MANGER

for Michael EarlCraig

 

Only one of us is permitted

to kneel in the sawdust.

You put the scalloped rinds

of yellow hooves in myhands.

Wind. A loose shingle clangs against

the barn’s metal siding.

It is murky and cold in the stall.

Where my forehead was, a toxic

crystal glows red. There is shelter

in working. A cavity opens into

a fortress and suddenly lemons are flopping

out like solid sunshines. You take one.

Squeeze it into our mouths –

so that we do not need to talk,

so that nothing can ever be understood or owned.

A HARD NODULE ON MY AURA

(composed somewhere in Duck Valley, 5/18/2012)

 

The willows by the pond

weep a soft fragrance of baby fat.

Maybe I am becoming a koot.

Another white pickup on thehighway.

It’s Mother coming again to fold

me into the sage brush branches.

In Owyhee, they name a bridge after Nietzsche.

The locals sit there and drop Wheat Thins

into the green water. An ant crawls across

my lipoma. He casts such a smallshadow.

“I’m gonna remember this for the rest of my life,”

Isaid.

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Background Image: Gretchen Frances Bennett, Frames, 2017