gone before the solstice
cross your heart, you swear you saw the neighbors
out collecting cow milk for the end of the world.
flannel shirts stained, singing the old hallelujah songs
from the backlogs of the baptist hymnal. or maybe
reciting Plath. you couldn’t tell—just knew they were
warbling something holy. the kind of rumblesong
that keeps windmill blades turning through the dog
in the next life, you say you wanna be
something adjacent to invincible: great sequoia.
balaenoptera musculus. femur. southern comfort. almost
and not quite. what you worship
and what you run from: half-miracle. maybe
the thing scientists call love has been an heirloom
from the old country this whole time, bubble-wrapped
in the attic. still, some part of it belongs
to us. or maybe to our fake children,
in their fugue-state unexistance. or maybe to no one
at all. cross your heart, you swear
you’ll stick around until the week of dead winter—
until the next body worth leaving for arrives.