Where We Can Leave Her

Her father placed stones as notes

along the bank for the break

as if to build for her his body

in place of it: the maple,

always male, she loved in

summers most. There were girls

of course, chasing each other

until the grass understood why.


One day, he came with a bucket,

shoes almost gone to the bottom.

Catfish, she said, tongue.

A goat in her leapt off

the cliff along with his

women he hauled in a trailer.

The parting happened after alfalfa.


Now a new one in a barn

as in the afternoon-hurry

with one sock and two bales,

they built each other temples

out of the ground: sun-burried.

It hurts to be gods,

to create what should be left alone.


Slow before the push,

her teeth across wrist—

To make a cave, she said,

Where we can leave her.

He imagines a lightness

growing from moss, angry

to be left a world

with no one in it.


Since the break can be felt

in bones, he begins preparing

the ribbon, smoothed quick

with lavender, mint from her

father’s river. Hands appear

in the break of trees. The ground

swells sweet now she’s dizzy,

different, emerging. He begins

to shake—a man, he has

only thought of a son.


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August 1, 2012 · 3:42 pm

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