from by Catthumbs



Plot Summary: There's a story among the college kids that sometimes, if you're out by the river at night, ghosts appear and whisper old myths.

(I want to clarify that the ghosts on the levee are in no way representative of physical threat. They are not a symbol of general ominousness but are the proverbial beating heart under the floorboards. While they later become a narrating character and take on more specific traits, the fox in this poem represents everyone who, in the context of this area, has been marginalized and silenced, and in the context of the poem the ghost is telling the story of these events to someone who typically stays comfortable by ignoring them.)


Yes, I'm talking to you
There is something in that forest leaking magic all over this place.
You'd have to be blind not to feel it rumbling up through the soles of your feet,
Your car keys shivering in your fingers
The ferns on the levee just laughin at man
for thinkin he could build a machine fast enough he could use it to hide from the moon
Somewhere in your guts you remember what it's like to spit out an appleseed and watch it grow into something
I think
I think, at least,
That some piece of you was there when they tried to dam the river
Saw the moonlight standin in front of the foxes den on the banks
Saw the lawman try to drag 'em away,
Done worse when they came out bitin and scratchin,
Saw 'em run into the trees
Say they made a bargain to keep the water running
Went to old gods and gave 'em their voice,
Their long legs and their fingers and their lips,
Walked out of those woods with four paws and fur and no way to tell nobody
Just teeth for bitin and claws for scratchin
And a jittery yip of a howl,
I see you reaching for your phone,
So you don't have to look in my eyes
Or smell the maple sap on the wind
Don't have to remember that you were once a junglegym made of roots that knew how to spit.
You dig your nails into those car keys,
Take comfort in pretending you built a machine fast enough to hide from the moon
The sun's setting earlier and earlier
And they're listening


from Analomink, released December 29, 2014



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