Before you there could hardly have been anything.

Okay, maybe that’s a little dramatic. Though it should be known
that before you I would never have been dramatic, at most
I may have made an exclamation (!) An inhalation, sharp at the lips.

Before you there was really nothing but a vacuous town
and mild weather. Weekend prizes for drunk-
enness and a desire to destroy puzzling the bones.
You think this is too far? Well, what about these rings
burnt into the football field? What about the smoke
deployed to the sky? Before you I had only a poor body, pregnant

with its own empty nervousness. I had a dragon
that I could not slay. A black crow sitting across
from me. A bridge between two back teeth.

I did not invite you here. I would never do that

though you arrived anyway with the rolled-up shirt sleeves
and a flat mouth that was corrugated and corrupt in its own
mesmeric way. An innovation that knew how to talk;
yabbering trees to fruition, purring the grass
into lascivious growth. Ah, you could talk, all teeth

and tongue; lend me your northern drawl
and this is what I’ll learn about the world.




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