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the magazine :: heather altfeld

by on March 1, 2016

The reports are all in
the reports from the hardened coves
of the wasps, the spindly trails of the ant-lion,
the mossy-wigged rocks, the bobcat, the plains mice—
all of the districts, in other words,
and none of the accounts look good,

they all heard the report shaving at the pines,
its dry embrittled crack, its angry stripe—
they scattered the news and carried,
on their knuckles, the white-tailed deer
her twitchy, terrified smile, that grim, thin smile
the one you wore when you heard the report

in the magazine, the investigation, its hemless, hard strap,
its thoughtless—that is, without a thought—
graze, its cold stutter reporting
against the stone, brick, window, the flocks
quacking and quailing in the rice fields,
on the playgrounds, and in front of the capitals,

in the magazines, you could see it, glinty and shining
and wanting to be yours. The reports arrive
by morse and pigeon, from the territories and the back streets
and the brownstones, you can hear them
during the bright noise of your interrogation,
beneath the static the words are clear, you are being stung, set up,

you are, in fact, in the report, you are being written up
in our magazine, you are being grazed on the ear,
cuffed on the sleeve, your heart
is being busted, your heart is busting
from its great belt of ice, you are lifting up
and floating outward and upward right as the last report

is being filed, and this is what they will remember afterwards,
the silver arc, the bow, the graceful way you fell,
the beauty of your blood, its steady, gorgeous, deepening pool.

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From → poems

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