Witch (The Fallow One)
I’m not set to ripen, I’m not set to be plucked. There is nothing here
to harvest. I gather the uncultivated elements
of my body and snatch them up from the soil. I am free
in my dormition. I am the root
which deracinates itself, that lives only
in trembles of water and light.
Scarecrow (The Mindless One)
Not language I don’t
not language I don’t as if
rain in the field
tall grass or memory reminds me ashes
in tall grass
be careful I don’t
gondolas of mosquitos transform the creek
I don’t mosquitos where flowers should be
once upon a time the memory
in the field we germinate and dissolve
I don’t follow the pattern.
“These moments of nocturnal prowling leave an indelible impression.”*
We are remove a string of abandoned helmets and shell casings riplining through the forest at night always at night the moon spins like bicycle spokes around//above the forest above us we hear the sound of our own footfalls because the earth is best at forgetting we know there are warriors in the muck and mud we know that night collapses just when we reach an enemy and then no one will see
but I see even within the fog strands of morning yet the moon still cratered above
I have left *my boots, *my map satchel, *my rifle, *my bluing spark of light, * my cigarette
back at camp where the moon is still drunk where the heat is dry
gossamer posed to rip.
*Ernst Junger, Storm of Steel
Oakley Merideth is a high school English teacher in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He received his MFA in creative writing from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and is currently submitting his first manuscript, Jane, to publishers. His work has previously appeared in New Delta Review, Denver Quarterly, and The Meadow, among other journals.