Though it hangs on nothing, does not speak. Hot & short,
it flings its checkered shirt over the elevated line.
And you, you are made of dirt & god’s lost teeth & now
you lose your bones, you slump, a slow white scow
of water & fat, of fast words, hot words, beef
you had with the past. Tide turns the street to glass.
So now we’ll work it, wrench & sandpaper & bearing brass.
We’ll turn it, ribbons of protein & curd, voices like sour milk.
The shot, carrying all of the story that matters, anyway.
Reeds sing, the evening starling takes its survey of death.
Here, on the road. There, in the path. The body of the deer, white foam,
black cuticles from which horn erupts, signifies. I mean,
nothing signs the paper like a formal hand, a beautiful ink,
a silver that resolves, cuts apart, holds in abeyance.
But if it could. If we would think of this day as a river lighthouse,
squat stone tower dividing a current, stoic before the rushing anthem.
We are not far from the river now.
Night soaks night soaks fire. The lightjars hammer, stutter/
O, er, or
Night on tenterhooks & ladders.
Redear in the dark ponds of the game preserve spooking & glowing.
Hound by the door. The pulse of engines through the country fields.
Starlight fletches the dark, straight blackgum. Black silk like a second skin walnut-skin, hard hands.
On the one hand, I’m still your brother I dress like your brother.
On the other, I’m the cutter, the one with spade & knife.
You hold the paper bag and the light.
-- Hannah Craig lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is the author of This History that Just Happened (Parlor Press, 2017). Her work has recently appeared in journals like the Mid-American Review, North American Review, and Copper Nickel. She was the winner of the 2015 New Measure Poetry Prize and the 2016 Mississippi Review Poetry Prize.