Not the last flicker going out, but the wrap
of risen wind on charred wood in the dark.
Not the abandoned copper mine with broken
windows at dawn, but the boy taking a bronze
plumbing pipe to the river. Not the dog’s velvet
belly, burst open and spilling wet maggots
on the train tracks, but the tiny pliable femur bone
of a mouse found inside there. We say I feel
so alone, and we mean we don’t know how
to communicate. We say The dog is dead
and we mean we aren’t listening anymore.
In the growing light the boy carries his pipe
to the river. He packs it with stolen tobacco.
He hides between boulders. He has no filter,
no friend meeting him. He lights it and sucks
and his own wind wraps what is inside there.
Originally published on Bluestem
Photo: Getty Images