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March 29, 2016 | Poetry

Two Poems

Collin Callahan

Two Poems photo

Vagrant Prophecy

I met a man with a beard
of orange leaves, his right eye
twitched like a sleeping dog.
He talked to me closely. He
warned me about the hand
in the sky. In preparation,
I spent years planting pencils,
thousands, into the divider island
of a major interstate. I clipped
my fingernails into shovels.
I survived off the kindness
of littering. In the rush
hours, I went window to window
warning citizens. Soon,
I adopted a gasoline habit.
One night, I saw an adolescent deer
meet the grill of a white van
who hit and ran, left him there
wonky-legged and bleeding
in the road. I dragged him
to my island, whispered small prayers
into his ear and the stars
encircled us like a million
kneeling children. It was time.
I awoke in a forest of yellow
trees. When the air turned cold
they erased themselves.

Bring a Shovel to the Silo,
The X is North Ten Steps.

I.

Remember the tree we built
a house in? How its arms would shadow
the shallow creek dividing tractors
from two-story families?
I went back to find it
sickened with the graffiti
of a younger generation.
I sawed its limbs off,
twisted them into a box.
It was empty, so empty, so
I placed our childhood in it.

II.

Dirty fingernails, I fashion
a crisscross of twigs
to mark the spot I buried it.
The moon is a white cocoon.
Young coyotes lick the tepid air.
Like a house of cards, the night
collapses into itself.

image: Carabella Sands


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