[in which the jackals show their faces]
I did not need many words.
I did not enjoy the shade.
I wasn’t unlike rocks.
I knew my end, my fragrance.
May I introduce you to my friend, the Jackal? (He aches me.)
If not the Jackal in the daylight.
If not the horse’s ample calf.
If not thieves, the shattered window pane breaks in uponward.
If not the mapping of their bounty.
If not when waters overflow.
The horse’s even-tempered sigh —
The Jackal’s scramble up the stud—
& down, & down, & higher.
If the ladder why the Jackal.
If the drinking why not dripping down its downy beard.
If the thieves in broken windows.
If the Jackal if the Jackal.
If why how the horse do horsey things by rivers, lakes, etc.
If do that and that the this then how the horses do their horsing.
of the danger, how the voices were attacking,
how the visions were relentless, how the smell
the sound the buzzing from the bugs—
[in which i try to overcome]
I lengthen, I sicken, I stretch, I weaken the pass.
Three times I wake in the night.
The Jackals laugh, they laugh, (continue laughing).
And am I fool for their enjoyment? Do I cease for them alone?
a village to a village, towns & cities,
great ones, counting time through
cry of cock-crow — well? 1. The day
begins, the swell of grasses heating
2. The day continues and continues
and continues once again 3. The day
the breath the bodies cease, etc, etc,
I was angry I was cold; the rain, the
snow, the lonely looks of those who
hadn’t heard the news, the troubled
cry the anguished cry the pleasured
moan slash doleful cry of animals
I walk until my feet aren’t feet, my toes untoed and crossing.
I don’t have anything to give but this, my flesh, the space between me.
AARON LOPATIN is a poet and teacher from Michigan. A finalist for the 2019 Snowbound Chapbook Award from Tupelo Press, his work has appeared in Tupelo Quarterly, Nat. Brut, The Spectacle, and elsewhere. He currently lives in Boise, ID where he is completing his MFA at Boise State University.