Fog clots the air, almost absent, nasturtiums denuded in the small distance.
Dew pallor gathers in the park. Ravens interrupt. Scraps
of paper, plastic bags, the movement of anything acknowledging the wind’s receipt.
Ravaged cabbages, the shell of a salted snail
tossed among dandelion heads. The heads pricking through a brick wall. Fog
sieves the sound of a dumptruck extracting discarded
matter from a can. White moths circle a pistil, tongue an orchid’s yellow fuzz.
Crushed glass kneads the ankle’s thrust, blood erupts
on the pavement. Last night’s rain’s inscribed on a patch of winded
cellophane wrapped around a metal hasp. Weather’s edge,
your mouth’s an open wound. Clouds surround the puncture’s
-- John James is the author of The Milk Hours, selected by Henri Cole for the Max Ritvo Poetry Prize (Milkweed, 2019). He is also the author ofChthonic, winner of the 2014 CutBank Chapbook Award. His poems appear in Boston Review, Kenyon Review, Gulf Coast,Poetry Northwest, Best American Poetry2017, and elsewhere. He lives in California, where he is pursuing a PhD in English and Critical Theory at the University of California, Berkeley.