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 


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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