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Jody Stewart


up where I can’t reach

is a Y-incision in the sky, sliced

by returning geese

far away, where I can’t hear,

war cracks and whines

I don’t feel how fire opens

or when the loud heat comes

only that it does: metal, roadkill, char

the soft hours shaking

I cannot touch, cannot wheeze

through grit, nor gulp back

the flesh-sweetened nausea

which fills the streets

in a distant city it’s dark, then holiday bright

boys pull on their boots,

slice their hands along the carcass of a truck

their wounds suck at each other

in my quiet kitchen, one sugar bowl,

vitamins, tea, books

and two old sleeping dogs

squirrels, red and grey

ground-nuzzle below the windy feeders

spring is busy

a first syllable rifts the page,

its shadow-wing crinkled as plastic bags

heaving into make-shift ditches

what will grow next?

mud, salt, flowers from a blown-out tire?

the next syllable is a shell-torn seed

caught in bacterial springtime


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