-after Gil Stuart
To say nature is your church is a gross and understated
thing. It’s no wonder you don’t believe in heaven. What
could be more beautiful than a barn spider devouring
a moth on your own soil or the orbit of satellites
in your still yawning sky? You say you won’t care what happens
after you’re wearing your wooden overcoat, but you’re not pushing
up daisies, old man. You can’t get off that easy. You are the lining
of our skin, the leather pelt underneath sweat and fur. I could
sharpen a razor on any one of us and there would be no blood.
Your stubble sanded all that away in hello/goodbye pinpricks
of stars on our necks. Stars that brand to freckles as we grow old.
You are swimming hole water too deep in our ears at wintertime,
cold enough to turn to snow, to leak out as fat flakes underneath
fingernails and gums. No pick in the world could dig you loose
all the way, so if we have children, know this: you might as well
be carved out of knee caps and elbows.
Kimberly Dawn Stuart's work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Rust + Moth, Louisiana Literature, Barren Magazine, and Deep South Magazine, among others. She lives in New Orleans with her husband, the writer Marley Stuart, where they direct the small press River Glass Books.