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Miles Waggener – Ⅰ






The deer’s legs draped across the flatbed


are folded over and quiver in the truck’s motion.

There are too many uses for you,


the eidolon of engine knock, of dry gears, keeps telling you.  You’re driving a narrow bridge

that spans the water for miles.


And this use is yours.

On the horizon and catching the last daylight, balmy cells


ripen, and nightfall like drapery high above the gulf


whitens as the road becomes harder to see.

When eyes open to bantam eye

behind thunderhead, what part of the world does not look back,


what washes away?  Uninhabitable and numinous city of god in a workbook,


our skyline of refineries and cranes resurfaces on the far shore,

scaffolding, ladders, the fettered

videlicets, etceteras, metal rungs ending

in smoke and fire in the ether.


Our town at the end of pain.


Or is it at pain’s beginning, our breathing


while in pain, where

the thief’s body is there, opened for thieves to see?


Yips and calls

attend a clear night about to cloud.  What have you done


with this lifetime?

No sooner does it heal


than another white wing sweeps across water and sky.


You turn the headlights on as the ebb of insect chatter foretells the storm.


If, at pavement’s end, you were asked to perform the solemnities


of prophets and schizophrenics, to light a match


inside a fish, to dig through a wall

to witness an old shame restaged, would you


stop hiding and start clawing at the plaster, certain you have heard the call?

When your eyes open


you nearly rear-end the hunter’s flatbed, but you know


that what you see there in the felled buck’s form so far from the wild,


you will never be able to say.