THE WHITE SEA
Spin the big wheel of weather. So it’s seven
degrees. I could have sworn it was balmy and getting ready
eight minutes ago. One definition of a slob is someone
who runs out to the street through a foot of snow in slippers
and a t-shirt to get the mail. And falls down. I close my eyes to
and see black lemons floating on white water.
The deer’s face points downriver, marble-still, cold
eye into the wind, staring into the flashlight. Engine’s shut off,
the high banks. I slice her open on-site, organs spilling
into the water. Do the falling parts know that she’s gone yet?
And the animal with its great black floor takes passage. She doesn’t
worry anymore. The creek’s stars quiver and absorb her. I light
my last cigarette. Barter trumps money in these woods.
Now her neck muscles are flowing out into the falling snow,
up into the gray machine… The eyes are deep set, polished already.
I’m still in awe. Later, I remove the head. She smells of wet rocks
and trees. I light a joint, rub the burn scars on my arm, remove
frame for the gray fox, place the doe’s head on the fleshing table.
I boil water. The body drains in the carport. I don’t fear being away
from them anymore. It’s quiet and the phone never rings.
The joy cannot continue,
cannot extinguish the fire in
the sirens roving from room to room
in the small house just down the hill
from the seven large houses, candles in
doorway. This is how you see in the dark, he says,
and he takes her hand in his hand, her hand
holding a yellow pencil, and he crosses words out.
FROM HAND TO MOUTH
I can’t see you.
Semblance. I mean
The rain. The black
Rain. It’s night you
Know, fingernails. Dragged.
And bitten off.
They’re back-shot, black blood; we get the noon re-
port. It’s divided into pieces—they aren’t out there. They
the wires. Hello, death in Africa, to me in my underwear.
Here’s a blueprint of my pocket. When my face was wrapped
in muslin I could feel the dying animals, the places where they
in my brain. Child, camel, things burned: what memories of
these will I bring with me out of the grave? Everyone has to
deal with lint. I pick the stuff off my aloe plant, it flows up
the baby’s mouth and she’s laughing like a dead jazz singer.
all from David Dodd Lee’s Animalities (Four Way Books, 2014)