Morning Coffee # 13

Where the author pretentiously post a poem he enjoys.

Kai Carlson-Wee


There has to be a tree. There has to be 
a sky. There has to be a chicken-hawk 
skating the dust rising out of a thresher. 
A ploughboy walking with a turtle 
in the head-high corn. There has to be a pool 
with a swirly slide entering the water. 
A chain-link cut by the field where I took 
Kerri-Ann to the river when the river 
was flooded. A burnt knife lettering 
her knee. And a song being played—
All the girls are gone, All the head-strong 
good country girls are gone—from the window 
of a painted Accord. Her father standing drunk
in the screen porch watching us dance. 
There has to be light falling into his body. 
And a muskie we pull from the mud puddles 
under the tracks. A reason we throw it 
in the pool where it wobbles and floats 
in the shivering wave-lines. Her father still 
watching us dance in his sleep. There has to be 
a fight, a cross-fade of landscape surrounding 
those liquor-marked breaths. Him catching 
her thigh. The two of them wishing to god 
they were drunker. And the black lines 
of telephone wires rise quiet as old men 
or grocery store crosses. The scarecrow 
in silhouette losing its face in the hyper-
colored dust and the clouds. There has to be 
light. And a circling car. And a song 
moving out of his body like something 
he names. A chicken-hawk rising 
on dust trails over the ditch where the boy 
now plays. The river still flooded. 
The dissipated clouds in late-day in awe 
of their own color fading. There has to be 
a flood. And a promise of love. And a fish 
in the pool, and the pool gone dark 
where the turtle glides under the leaves. 

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