A blade of grass tickling an ankle. Not an ant, not a fly, not a mosquito, not a bee. Branches so thin they don’t cast shadows so the leaves appear to float, organized like a school of fish on the sunlit cedar. The feeling you cannot feel again but can only remember: God was in the church basement and your mind was a brushfire buffeted by his lungs. A fleeing like a stalk of something greener than green climbing the spine. Get the dishes done. Pack your bags. The weather is not your friend yet the weather is a shield and the weather is an arrow painted with your impatience. The arrow of your impatience is a thing for the flies to contemplate, a facedown mirror in the moss, a bucket of steaming towels, throbbing bass so loud on the third of July you can hear it four miles away. Who minds whose mind? Boom boom boom. boom. An aversion to aversions. A gaze of mud to collate sundown’s terms: followers carry zithers into the sky. Mallards were once seen here but no more—the braid of bird to land comes apart via avian botulism, absence of bats, noise of the world. Funny that these entities rebraid this place into a form to fit the self. The last egg cracked is a thing of fundament, an absolute too gold to not ignore.
F. Daniel Rzicznek is the author of three poetry collections, Settlers (forthcoming from Free Verse Editions/Parlor Press), Divination Machine (Free Verse Editions/Parlor Press), and Neck of the World (Utah State University Press), as well as four chapbooks, most recently Live Feeds (Epiphany Editions). He is co-editor of The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Prose Poetry: Contemporary Poets in Discussion and Practice (Rose Metal Press). His recent poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in West Branch, Willow Springs, Colorado Review, 32 Poems, TYPO, Terrain, The Collagist, and elsewhere. Rzicznek teaches writing at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio.