but glittering

we go separate ways
to the same river
(east, into the fog-shrouded sun
and south, into the next county)
but we are still in this
10 bike miles
pedaling to and away from water
muddied but glittering
this is how the day begins

through the fog
past the clinking inside the cow barn
(the clinking, i never know what it is
but always hear it
could be milking machinery
could be the cows fighting the doors of their pens)
down to where the fabius passes under a bridge
and on the way: too many smashed frogs in the road to count

bottles of nail polish
lined up in rainbow order
on the picnic table
under pine tree shade


izzi sponges the half/half colors on
(this style has a name:  umbra)
and asks which place, out of all i’ve lived in
i like the best
and if it was
sad to leave
and i ask her about her favorite
of all the places she’s been to

the telling and re-telling
of the chin-scar stories
part one
and part two


fox flash
blurring across
gravel road just after
the creekbridge
under the canopy
of missouri trees

having just learned about heather askeland yesterday
who laid herself on the tracks
at a point in her life when
she was becoming too sick to care for herself
during a relapse of late, systemic, neurological lyme’s

this knowledge a wash
brushed over the train’s howl and hurtling
as it roars beneath us
while we hang onto the bridge railing
and wave to the engineers
(one of whom reaches out the window to wave back
one of whom does nothing
and one of whom blinks the lights on and off and
screams the whistle)


what’s that izzi asks
pointing to the lines on my thigh
cutting, though i should have said scarification

a too-muchness
of sound
(the insects at hot summer pitch
the fan hums
the layering of voice upon voice at once)
makes me want to turn katydid
into katydon’t

end-of-day relief: pressing
neon green earplugs in
so i can crank the fan up
as high as it will go
pulling that night-cool air
through the screen and onto
my limbs


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