North Star


My wish startled birds

in the crosshatched limbs,

the branch matrix

a blue green trampoline.

I scraped bark beneath my nails

determined monkey hands.


Wild with my find: a man who turned me 

full of nightfall and animal calls.


I’d dug my heels into his back,

held his shoulders tight as reins

to plant deep the pain.

perfume of loam, late summer.


My dreams for winter: homemade soups and lantern light,

ceramic jugs, woven red and yellow rugs,

coffee mugs, mason jars of river rocks.

A cat.  Settled,

he'd said, as if before we'd always been.

Years before on the tractor row by row until first star,

he'd thrown back his head in the way

I'd come to know.


We would build here.

Where he came, where I screamed, where his dog Jett

wagged his tail in frenzied whiplash, where we’d fucked.


Rooted in green life on the forest floor

my bare ass pressed into earth, rising with the hope

and heat from the hurry of daylight sex.


It was terrible later, when

I broke open like a toppled hive, my love like bees,

swarms buzzing round his head. He fled.


A broken frame, strands of hair, a dentist’s card, 

the quilt, his slippers, the detritus 

put through the sieve.


In my head there is a house

where we still listen for owls,

and watch the morning finches.