michael craig

 

BRUTE MYSTIC

 

 

A foal had been born,


had emerged on thin stilts

from the tobacco barn,

and with woodchips stuck


to it. An ice cream truck


looked lost and dragged


behind it a string of soup


and corn cans. I sat

on the porch and forced

my thoughts on the front lawn.

Very pale-looking, sure. Very

tightly gripping my beer can.

You sat with me.

You tipped back your head


so I could look down your throat.


The foal tottered by, at a dead gallop.

This is very awkward, you said.

Yes, I said.

This is, you said… well…

and then you nodded off.

Yes, I said,

and then I nodded off.

 

When I awoke you were gone.

And a faint rumbling from

the tool shed? All day

things had seemed a long way


off, as they sometimes do


to a man under chloroform.


A yellow bird flickered past

and I could hear the duck chasing


the cows around. I went


and stood on the lawn and

smoked cigarettes, one


after another. The sky was blue


and the grass was green.


I considered this

and blew a smoke-ring at


the cat, feeling suddenly


combustible, some dreamish,


autobiographical thoughts

floating past me tied to a raft.

And then I guess I nodded off.

 

When I awoke I was lying on the lawn,

my cigarette still burning


between my lips. I finished it


and stood up and flicked

the butt at a fencepost and walked


toward the barn. It’s raining, I said


to myself and it was.


And I have to go feed the matted ones.