Poetry | September 28, 2020

The Early Symptoms

Storm and understory. How a body learns

between the thin years and wet season

to take the burning ring in, to keep growing.

(Some change in light may be necessary.)

These are febrile days. The world and I off

by a couple degrees. Today we broke

charcoal from coprolite, anthrax from rein-

deer in the permafrost and on the drive

to the coast I could barely grip the wheel,

that after-hours feeling in my hands

like a network signing off or snow falling

in abandoned malls. (What use is weather-

stripping when you live in a golden state?)

Unlace these for me. The drift glass is soft

under our feet, in our blood. The waves

break, and no matter how hard you hold me

the sea will never repeat itself.

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