I learned to protect myself by smiling. Flew up and down as though stitching field to sky. Blazing fields of rape across the southern countryside. Where I’ve been living. Or maybe born this way. What is to be said about this slip in landscape vocabulary. Blue warehouse wall fills the window like an abrupt new sky. Were you nineteen on a park bench or twenty in a cul-de-sac. Every river is the same river. Double-take the name of these yellow flowers. Because to lie on the ground means to neither see nor be seen within the human world. Fine line between poacher and poet. Nina writes of the fight or flight feeling filling her body and many of us say yes me too. To be poor is to be a crime against property. Train by the horse reclining in a patched blanket. Itchy trigger tongue saying and saying it. Three birds in the stubbly field. What words you keep from your mouth but sob around the edges on a Greyhound months later. Were you fifteen in a car. Coming into major fields. Is to desire or not to desire a crime against safety. I meant the plant not the action. In the South I learned to say aren’t you sweet and floated blissfully up to the ceiling. To resist the erotics of anger and fear. To name your love and let it fly away. Were you twenty in another country home late from the bar. Because knowing this is both hammer and nail. The way sunlight touches you all over and you are glad. Every thing blooming into the present. Were you younger much younger and were you at home. Can I name you and name you and name us into a new world. Shaken at the seminar by sourceless rage. Walking to a phone booth at night to call a friend. Even temperate skies were lined with the sublime.
MC Hyland is founding editor of DoubleCross Press, and is currently working on a dissertation on poets’ uses of the commons, as well as on an ongoing poetic research project on walking, friendship, and publishing. She is the author of the poetry collection Neveragainland and of several poetry chapbooks, most recently THE END PART ONE (forthcoming from Magic Helicopter Press).