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Self-Portrait as Field

                                    Jake Adam York


Twilight, the day won’t let go.
It’s locked its last fingers

in the spruce and in the pine, has torn
dark’s clouds loose. Somewhere

in that backlit bruise or the blood
the stars will begin like the damp

at my back, what cool has gathered
on the long blades of grass, the cool

I’ve bedded down to wait and absent.
What I mean is this: it won’t take long

for dusk’s sweat to warm against my back,
my back to cool, call it equilibrium,

call it cradle where the field gives me
its hair and starts taking back

what it knows, each fiber that plaits
like grass to make a weave, where part

of the day can lace its fingers
and the night can wick like rain.

It won’t take long for the chiggers
to find my blood, my warmth,

to burrow through each cloth and into
my skin, my skin to pollen and spread.

What I mean is I can lie forever
but never leave. Soon the dew

will lay its hands on me and the stars
will gather on my eyes’ far ends

and tomorrow the field will lie warm
in a bed and the dew will lay its hands

on me again and somewhere will wake
and open the window and let the wind in

and the sound of me soughing in the breeze,
scythe drawn backwards, decisions’ end.


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