Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsFall 2020  Vol. 19 No. 2
an online journal of literature and the arts
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The Blonde Heart of Wheat


Listen, it was the far side of summer. The dog wouldn’t eat, but slept all day. I chain-smoked on stone benches, took daylong dirt-naps, called and called everyone I thought might love me enough to answer. I gave each cloud a name. Blue bugs and wood ticks burrowed into me, so I torched their heads until they let go. Purple mornings, I’d remember that you left and I stayed, that I chose to stay. Rhubarb, the other dog, died asleep. I kept waiting for the monsoons to come. I kept moving jars from shelf to shelf and smelling sawdust that simply wasn’t there. The light grew heavy. The house got painted periwinkle. I called and called.


Its mange made it downright lovable, the head-sick coyote we found that fall. Perfectly lovable, right up until I popped its two-gallon lung with the pitchfork. I kept dreaming it back alive, kept seeing it low crouched in straw and in snow and then forgetting the whole gray scene before I woke. The geese moved on. The warblers moved on. It stayed there, in the field, preserved in frost and forgotten, until the near side of winter, where pink streamed behind the cultivator, and I called and called everyone I loved, but no answer.  

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