*

The man has gone down into the root cellar.
A black animal stands near the fence line,
stares at the farmhouse, 

or seems to.

A deerfly lights on the woman’s arm.
She slaps it dead before it can bite then flicks
the smeared corpse into the grass.

The sky takes on a specific shade of green.

The woman takes a drag off her cigarette.
More flies loop around her,
their noise like tiny gasoline engines.

She can’t say if its hot or cold. It’s full,
is what it feels like. A caged thing

itching to bust out.

Maybe the hem of her dress gets caught
on the metal frame of the lawn chair-
it clatters over as she stands,
then spins and leaps away in a gust of wind
that sweeps in over the corn field.

One of the cellar doors lifts with a sigh then slams back.
The man is still down in there. The woman says this to herself.
The lawn chair collapses in the grass and the black
animal trots off toward the pole barn, distress in her low voice,

new moon flare of white in her eye.

The woman tastes metal and the tiny hairs
on her arms and legs stiffen. She wants to lie down
she feels so tired. Her tea-colored dress
is patterned with small red flowers
and the dress moves against her skin and against
the agitated hairs.

When she was a girl she had a fever dream where she flew
up over the farm house and her mother and father called out
to her but the wind carried their voices away.

She near died of the fever. She remembers how they set her
in a tub of ice water to keep her brain from cooking.

Behind her the house glows white and whiter.

If it would just rain she thinks.

If he would when I turn and look just
be standing there.







*

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