On my bed in late afternoon I am listening

to the thrush with his song now down perfect

if not pat, and a note drawn across a tractor a mile

or more away, yes, here among scents of honeysuckle

and full-bore blackberry, wisps of bedstraw, just me, solo,

looking up at the spider crossing the ceiling constellation

then out the window where a chipmunk clucks

and a mink is running along the stone wall into

the woods, yes, here is where I would go, no need

to knock a hole in the wall to let my soul out,

the window is open so it can drift off over the beanflowers

and squash blossoms, over the worm sliding back

down after the shower, over the slug determined

to get somewhere, over chickadees in the massive

white pine, the bear digging out ants from a rotten stump,

over the turkey-vultures riding the thermals into Lyra

and coyotes who bring night to life, yes, here,

in Vega, today just a general store fallen in and

boarded up, occupied for now by a young woman

who washes herself and her baby in the stream

and hides like a nymph or faun when I pass by.




Brian Swann, is the author of In Late Light, just published by Johns Hopkins University Press. His work has appeared in The American Poetry Review, The New Yorker, Poetry, TriQuarterly, and Iowa, Kenyon, Paris, and Partisan Reviews. He has authored five books of poetry and five of short fiction, and has translated sixteen volumes of poetry. He has edited a number of volumes on Native American Literature. Sky Loom: Native American Myth, Story, Song, will be out late this year from University of Nebraska Press. He has taught at Princeton and Rutgers and is now Professor of English at the Cooper Union.




Issue #29 November 2013
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