A poem a day in April from Rutgers English PhD students and friends.

Monday, April 11, 2016

viii–xi. Archaeology


Some artifacts from the days when
We would camp in our backyard and
Wake up with our bodies swollen:
Mosquito bites in the thousands;

Egg crate foam; wood my brother cleaved
Every summer; smoldering ash;
The ochre foxes we believed
Haunted us after our dog thrashed


Them like a boiling wave against
Inert cliffs; my brother’s finger,
Which lopped off when an axe dispensed
Him of the burden; the figure

Of a lone Canadian goose
Framed by the entrance to our barn,
Where she sought to escape the sluice
Of winter’s raw scorn, a stillborn


Mass of flesh, feathers, and bloodless
Webbed toes; our mom’s nebulizer;
The verdant rocks, veiled by mosses;
A muddy duck pond where lied a

Cast-iron tub; a cough caught in
Our mother’s throat, the muddled dirge
Of a lifetime smoking, cautioning
Us; our roaming cats; black birch


Canopies overhead; wooly
Caterpillars parachuting
From the sky; my mother’s belly-
Button piercing, substituting

For much better sense; the newest
Books from the library, which I
Would collapse into, like truant
Fancies; and, without fail, horseflies.

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