The earth here is a devourer
an old mattress given over
to persistent plant life

I buried the spirit of a doe here
every shaft of light through the dapple
hitting the earth is a crying finger
of God searching for his beautiful
stolen art.

Her breast, her lean flank, shock white
near the pocket sewn beside my heart
is an unvoiced resentment taken
at its word. Cool like a wet stone.

Cool in the way I know vodka
could cool that throbbing pressure
in my head. Start at the top and
unwind itself down every bit
of my back, a waterfall. Relief.

A bone tower in a field. A bone
bouquet is a boy holding hard.
Not gathering, rolling. Swear.
If I marked you off in dotted line.

Look! A new cloud, they’ve slowed
A train, too. Intermodal, repeated.
Like the multitude of meeting goers
who couldn’t make a flint knife
but they could learn.


About the Author

Craig Finlay is a poet and librarian currently living in rural Oklahoma. His poems have appeared or will be appearing in numerous publications, most recently, The Ilanot Review, Little Patuxent Review, Levee Magazine and After Happy Hour Review. His first collection, The Very Small Mammoths of Wrangel Island, is being published in March 2020 by Urban Farmhouse Press.