I've Been to a Butcher Shop Where My Whole Town Was on the Scale
Sharp! Keep your whiskers clean and your soul buried in an earthen pot. The roots are all dripping water, and the sky's but a sour grave. Your pants are buttoned wrong and your sandwiches are hoaxes, illusory on several levels. And the songbirds are huge among these brambles that rumble overhead like rail lines and claw each other for a breath of light. I've seen all this in a slice of yellow morning. Brown thistles, mushrooms, pale orange poppies tangled in wet grass, their rasping blades where water beads in clear domes. Ravens in the top of a tree, the sun a gold shadow on them. Crackle of light along the ridgeline where the clouds don't meet the land. The thick sky blanket and the mist changing, reaching from the laps of valleys where creeks meet on hacked apart forest slopes. Trees lean across the edges of logging units, salvaging light. Birds measure the space, arcing from forest to forest through where forest was.
Alder Fern's work is forthcoming in the Portland Review.