On Leaving the Heartland


For a time,
I thought
this was the last place
I'd live—
the still winter
fields tilled
beyond growth,
the way spring comes
like a blessing
of seed.  But the heat
of crickets
and the pilgrimage
of moths
always becomes
a season, even when
I lay still
by the warmest of ponds
while a man casts
and casts
into the hot dark.

I am tired
of being told
I appreciate nothing
when in this state
alone
I have licked
the wet butter
from a husk of sweet corn,
when I have kneeled
between the legs of a man
to give him
someone he could leave.
When I have lowered
the sharpened reed
of my tongue
and lied
beneath too many
saying "Yes, yes"
when what I meant
was the wine blistered
between my shoulder blades
and in this place
I'd learned to
hate myself
again.

Sometimes I feel
that longing
could become a stone
house,
a decisive buzzing
in the leaves.
But distance
always renovates itself,
becomes a drawing
made in charcoal,
a tree full of snake,
a surging in the marrow
that nothing solves.
It loves me as this
luminous nomad,
as this woman you see,
you know,
and then
like this season
she is gone.  
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