A MANNER OF GLASS
When they found the teenage boy who had been
lost for three days after skiing off the trail
during a snow squall, he did not speak of crow
wings feathered into a vault around him or how
the wide ice of his cries returned to him as heated
echo from the plumed walls of shelter. He did not
grow, did not bark. He did not bend toward
the microphones held in the steamy bath his breath
poured forth. Cold and ripe his words fell out
like acorns spilled from oaks he’d slept under
but knew nothing of save for their dark
silences. All media gathered to ingest
the emptiness his body demanded the world hear:
I want a cheeseburger. Plain as a paper napkin,
while the cameras angled and the voice
recorders spun their electric nets, he waited.
And when the meal arrived he did not
see the arrival of it as greased in the emptiness
of the story and itself. He did not question
the rarity or temperature. He revealed nothing forest
perceived in his fearful visit up the wood.
Burger in hand, his wan smile like one bulb in a two
bulb lamp, he ate quickly but intensely, stopping
just twice, once for a swig of water, once to preen.
Scott Bade is a former poetry editor for Third Coast Magazine and editorial assistant at New Issues Press. His poems have appeared in Fugue, Shadowgraph, H_NGM_N, Foothill, and elsewhere.