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July 8, 2019 Poetry

Ars Poetica w/ Refuse & Elegy

Caroline Chavatel

Ars Poetica w/ Refuse & Elegy photo

I mistook a plastic bag
on the side of the desert 
highway for a hawk—
thought it first alive 
and gnawing its beak 
into poor flesh, thought 
it first an omen
for some end, 
realized it then 
an omen 
for another—
its wing
of consumption
hovering its prey, 
reading HOME
whipping at eighty-five,
realized intake 
as I listened 
to a podcast recapping 
The Bachelorette 
and watched the bag 
in the rearview float up
and into the back
of a pick-up, become 
another’s concern
and I still worry 
for the items it once 
carried because 
in another 
poem, the desert highway
and the bird are 
metaphors for reality 
television that haunt 
the progress
of two lovers who
fight in an apartment 
in southern New Mexico
about the right 
reasons of their
co-habitation, about
distance cramming
their style but how
they create it, how 
we make all 
the things we mourn
like the bag and the bird,
how I made the entire
thing up to say this,
about love 
and how we fall 
into it, out of it,
like plastic
bags from 
speeding trucks. 



image: Doug Paul Case