V  P  R

Contemporary Poetry and Poetics




You there    pyromaniac
the one who has match-heads for teeth,
you with your fire-wand
hosing the overgrowth at the prairie margin:
tell me everything has burrowed underground
and breathes there still.

I stand among the scorched and blistered
pods of the honey locust    listening    listening
but even the sky has disappeared.

You there    flamethrower:
tell me how to love
now that the oaks are girdled in char
and the horsetail grass reaches for heaven
with stunted silica bones gone black.

Crack open this stone I wear for a heart.
Show me how to speak in tongues.
Return the bee balm and hummingbird,
butterflyweed and swallowtail.
Quicken that fierce invisible body
which can bend and lift me
over and over like the grass.

© by Cheryl Lachowski


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