By Catie Rosemurgy
They were deep in it and about to vote on what it was.
The leaves above them began to drip and blur
the proceedings. Thumper, Miss Peach, the yellow pile of wax
that was the Candlestick Maker, all of them
batted whatever lashes they had at the middle distance and recited
possible recipes for what was leaking out of their eyes.
The Black Coat read from The Official Complaint:
for years everything has been about itself, the music
about music, the light about light. In the small patch of woods
on the south end of town, someone played with a rock and a feather
and was never seen or heard from again.
3 parts: dirt thrown at the moon___1 part: other people’s bodies
Miss Peach straightened her lichen vest, lay down,
and pretended she was dead. Thumper sang a cappella about berries
and knowing what to do, the Black Coat swatted patchy bluebirds
from Miss Peach’s eyes. Everyone’s mouth craved the irritation of dirt,
but their faces, all mere surface damage and glow,
spoke of more. Of a time when things happened
and led quickly to other things. Of a place beyond the trunks of trees.
Soon they would lose the light filtering in from the big game down the road.
No matter. They could feel their faces
beginning to cave in and didn’t need to see.
3 parts: footsteps approaching your nest
1 part: your head held above the crowd on a satin pillow
1 part: wild mint___2 parts: your mother seeing you walk into a clearing
after you’ve been dead for so many years
Catie Rosemurgy lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and teaches creative writing at the College of New Jersey. Her poetry collection, My Favorite Apocalypse, was published by Graywolf Press. She is the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Award for Emerging Female Writers and a National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship.
Originally appeared in NOR 5