I grew into a stuffed animal who wanted
only to insert himself into the fossil record,
to test the mettle of a closeted end
of starless January. [You hurtle forward, you grab
someone’s waist: it’s as all scouts
know.] I was loosed in dormant sumac;
this much someone, someone else retained. When
it burns you move away
is good enough advice. [Move
advice that burns, burn off
perception of selflessness, get the regard
of a thing: deer ending
afternoon against the snow
holding on to trees, crepuscular trees,
with an almost yellow whatsit overhead.]
Here all can be reduced
to twigs lashing cheeks
as the snowmobile crests another white hill.
Let dim and distraction weave into
our scarves, shrink
our boots till we put a hood
to ice at the edge of the stream,
then drink what’s seeping up
and hope it’s clear.
Copyright © 2009 Mark Bibbins
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Copper Canyon Press.