Colorado State University Center for Literary Publishing

Excerpt from The Lesser Fields

Ontogeny

Here and not here, I breathe away
the parts of myself I no longer require.

Would that they return as fish
orbiting globes of algae and every
now and then one might dimple
what I imagine will be my skin—

surface film or epithelium; body I fold
my body into; gravelcloud

and rainstem—a water unending
as the field where I pitch a dozen apples
toward the trunk of a tree until each one

having shattered into many pieces

is a length of horizon by which I measure
where I have not yet happened.

 

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Lives of Greta

There is that bird again
Finding its way
In transitive flights—

Not fear in the space
Where the rock was
But its fact—

A feeling of if and dirt
In the space where the rock was
A phrase and its refusal.

Then start again.

A feeling of if and a feeling of or

A feeling of and
And a feeling of then

Of where and what more
But when
In life’s nonsense

 

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Lives of Animal

Stab the night with a shank—
The prettiest metal

Dripping stars. In the body
Cavities of the animals

Arrange a thousand lit candles.

Blink once, then shut your eyes

To see the slaughter.
Custody is in the air. Blink twice

To feel the frost
Sharpen winter’s shears
For the smoke of flesh

Its profit and umber ruin.

 

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