Portrait of a deer

To slide, my ruined mouth. An unlocked door. Burlesque: how stars react. At such a thought. A cavalcade of fresh grass. Doe. One hundred acre wood. Unseen, this whistled blacktop. Asks: what risk, in rewriting a beloved book? Tether, history. Go west. Talk to me of rest. Confessional: your hand, this scratch of leaves and logs. A spritely fox, or groundhog. Burrow. What eighty years ago was open field. The path is overgrown. We follow fenceline, sand. This much, impossible. A glimpse of sleep.

 

If this is: an experiment in living,

1.

because Glengarry
is what I think with,

roots from below,
an undercarriage,

a body must
be substance, codes

of quiet force,
an image

to shed cells

 

2.

within the limits
of fourteen lines,

a codex, biplanes
of monitored idioms

I warn you,

don’t land, temporary
middle stretch,

unopened doors,

creatures squirrel
& mouse,

 

3.

illuminates with a hole,
a finger-mark,

barcode landscape
, suburbs

etching clean me,
on rear windshield,

sharp,
unnoticed

allow no shape for light,
this simple brilliance,

 

4.

my mother’s car,

a process like a barrier,
flowers,

discontinuous, array
of rivers

Raisin,

oranges
to oranges

, the ripple of
debris,

5.

escape,
escape

from
& to

never
here,

 

My father, at seventy-six

Uplifts. A series of holes in the narrative. Cardinals, sparrows, jays. The fence-line. Stories new, renew and seemingly random. His three-legged dog. Cutter, diagonal across the back fields. His half-dozen grandchildren, wander. How has your health? What did the doctor? Solo, he holds up the farmhouse. Imagine literally, literally. The remains of last century. A splendid memory of trees. Outside: the sun and rain insert into the ground. Replenish soybean, corn.

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rob mclennanrob’s latest collection, Life Sentences (2019), is published by Spuyten Duyvil and available here.

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