As the dead of winter dies
the ground, smothered in snow, thaws
melting into mire and mud. There
in the clay you see my unmade substance
You mold my limbs
Your finger scratches
my forehead with ashes
branding truth between my eyes.
I dress myself in brittle leaves
and wander Chicago St. alone
drunk at eleven thirty-something.
My bones burn like a firebrand, my throat
with cheap whiskey. I sit on a
bench on Walton Island:
I am the king of a kingdom of thimbles,
I am the vulture of a far-off wilderness.
I am an evening shadow and when
You wipe my forehead clean
my body will crumble to the floor:
From dust you came,
And dust you shall return.
Cover image by Grant Whitty