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The rainy season is a league away traveling
at the speed of an era. The cloud formation
does not dissolve as I remove my eyes
from my palms. I can no longer walk the distance.
Insects congeal beneath my skin in order
to rest. I think of a number between one and ten
and a ditch to place my body in, shallow
enough to fill—a single spade of gravel
to cover my mouth, and one for each eye.
Like emulsion, I want to remember
what I have touched, the universe
that crushes; black smoke across
the lips as night crows speak
of floodwaters, trees falling quietly
at night and the night quietly falling at sea.
A cold morning keeps me frozen in position.
The heat from the vent near my ribs
is invisible and comforts me.
A filtration device is attached to my lungs.
I have reached the number designated
as the halfway marker. Soon I will possess
no more ideas. I am further along
than I imagined I would be. When my body
is covered, a mound will be formed.
Someone will find me fixed in place.
Rain is falling over the sea and the sea
begins to arrive. The banks of the ditch
slide over my limbs. I am having difficulty
being. Someone will find me. The night crows
are silent. They are perched on my knees.
Brett Fletcher Lauer is the author of the memoir Fake Missed Connections: Divorce, Online Dating, and Other Failures (Soft Skull, 2016) and A Hotel in Belgium (Four Way Books, 2014). He is the deputy director of the Poetry Society of America and the poetry editor of A Public Space.
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