h o m e........
The dark tartan check
if not for the tart basin peat
and if not for the water flag
and if not for the corn crake
and if not for the raccoon dog
and if not for the Eurasian lynxes, their hard charm,
and if not for the machairodontinae,
and if not for flood-tall ice sheets eaten tiny by sun,
and a new pool on the Olorgesailie near where
and a friendly flea field in tuft
and a worm addled in fungus
and a smudge of brain cells
would be just plain hill-grey,
A cloak and a quilt,
A dice cup of islands formed from
Jar flies and horror beetles rattle hot.
the classic irascible duck, squat, melts into brush.
With no smithy, no oakum, pitch, rigging, bellow—
Guts gnaw. Limbs won’t lift.
as they do.
root-ripped horse tail ropes, shirt sails, juniper oars,
In the waist-high inlets,
horselimbs sunning and bobbing, separate,
raft split from raft
and current peeled us into nothing.
The shore turned to smoke.
A palmful of raw cornmeal per palm.
Our vessels, dumbass slipshod vessels
Two days passed, evil rays
poor fishers, who fed us, towing us to shore,
us wretched, bones
the coarse brutes grieved!
in sable mantles.
we cannot quit—we cannot stay—
BIO: Molly Brodak is the author of A Little Middle of the Night (University of Iowa Press, 2010) and three chapbooks of poetry: Instructions for a Painting (GreenTower, 2007), The Flood (Coconut Books, 2013) and Essay on Parts of Day (Horse Less Press, 2014). She lives in Atlanta.
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