in Murdo, SD
I forget the masculine feeling: whalebones to wind turbines.
Facts stir prairie carcasses, scents bare to the sun, circling
the drains of South Dakota’s bus stations. The pheasant
trims imagery with wings, turns ignorant with worms.
I narrate a burial but my breath bends the shovel.
I lose speech in the slanting light: What’s left to say
amidst skeletons and silent miles of iris. The grass
of patient witness erases my need for direction—
I count the waves of dirt churning fences, settling
into a field. Locking antlers with the oak’s trunk,
a buck strips its softness. On mute, I once studied
that vivid animation—minor marvel. That bone
emerges bloody, first, will disturb the eventual
velvet. Like how the poem about love brims
with weaponry, despite bulk—a shadow
still worn: Fresh armor caressing its form.