Wanting to get it all in, like
Xerxes tipping his army’s arrows
with saltpeter
so to ignite the Grecian sky,
I remember the shock of grass
and early bulbs.
The surfacing of winter
sparrows long buried, having burrowed
under the brook ice.
evening and the sound
of engine shot.
Trying to hide
my father’s hunting knife
inside the piano body.


Composition for a Synthetic Blend

Bed in a white room, headboard
to the west, mattress

stuffed with wheat and oat straw
perfumed with balsam, linens

rolled in resin and balm.
In his wife’s place, a timber note:

cedar wood, oak, silver pine, and seed.
A thether if only for a finite time.

The perfumer working in the hours
before morning

will warm the space
making his solutions useless.

What else?, he asks, pressing glass plates
against a layer of leaves

so their essence will fix
to a glaze of animal fat

What else lingered as you passed
those last days refusing to leave this room?


Photograph courtesy of Hitchster

Eric Anderson and Sean Borodale In Conversation
One More Last Stand