We hike through logging territory. The chainsaw still warm,
a little body on my back.

I walk so long my breasts shrink up
until they are my mother’s breasts. Small, empty.

The fumes make it impossible to eat,
little flies all sucking on you all the time.

The saw does not cut clean. Each tooth offset, meant to hack apart,
spit back up. Designed for the removal of material.

Cherries wet with gasoline, the beaches made of sawdust.
Jellied frog eggs drying up in mud puddles, ants carbonating the logs.

I use my EBT card to buy string cheese. I sharpen the chain
as my crew cleans the soles of my boots with pinecones.
They are laughing calling me mountain gazelle, kevlar princess.
Chainsaw Queen of the Almost Apocalypse.

This is not a dream. It is hard work.
Hard enough to lose yourself in it.

There is sawdust everywhere. 30 degrees on the cutting teeth.

The land is torn up, crusted over. Not a forest but what comes after.
There is no piecing back together, only the gaping wound.



Carolyn Orosz