From my room above the trees, I
name what I can see in the hot house of August:
a wash of hay field between house and barn,
the lake, green-skinned and clotted,
and the gnarl of town beyond, bare knuckled, bridgeless.
You may or may not be any of these things— I know
I left you somewhere with a mouth full of sand.
In the center of the field a pit of white in the tawny grass—
only a rotting sheep. A little red tufted around the neck,
the cavern of its middle bloated with heat.
Wind snickers over the hay. Weren’t you just holding a baby?
You are not the sheep or the boy sleeping behind the barn,
his mouth wet from a beating.
His forearms thin rifle barrels. Not you.
The heat switches with insects. The grass weaves and unweaves itself.
You taught me some birds are sirens and sound off
just before the fires burst. Honey-light, cleave this skin from skin,
hot-gun me to a borrowed body.
I am ashamed to look like anything at all.