Oakley Merideth

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.

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