Not the Only Win­ter

Prairie Fire - - DARIUS KINNEY -

There is a generic sick­ness within these rain­drops,

be­neath the mal­ice of de­cid­u­ous trees. It’s early in­dus­try win­ter

and there is a late-model hus­band ac­count­ing for be­ing fired

again, how he stands there, land­locked to some­one else’s front yard,

arms bent like ob­scene pa­gan tools, leaves gath­er­ing

in mas­sive in­con­gruities at his feet. An anes­the­sia

is build­ing in the grasses all around. He knows this to see it.

Nor­way rats wield across-the-street­ness, a blue­print

for sur­vival locked in hairs on their head, itin­er­ar­ies al­ways un­ful­filled.

He is un­pro­tected, out here, weighted down by a word.

In the mem­ory of it there is a night and the poverty in his head dan­gles,

the wind is an Eastern les­son in ex­haus­tion, a re­minder

of how the night­time is the clos­est any­thing gets to prim­i­tive any­more.

In the mem­ory, he reaches for his wal­let and gets a fist full of feath­ers

from the Cooper’s hawk that spent weeks on the barbed fence

off Pat Bay. And then the thought oc­curs to him,

that’s at least how long you must wait for a true fail­ure.

Only then things could turn. But even if they didn’t.

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