I bump into Pete and lean awhile.
The cafe’s nearly closed. The kids eat
their wings, licking sticky fingers.
Cannibal grins. Clouds are coming
off the Cascades. Pete flexes gently,
says his fingers tingle with the pressure
change and every time he passes
the equipment shed. The machine
still whines when he powers it on,
jawing for the rest of him. We’ve all lost
something out here we’re trying to reattach:
the better part of years, family land, houses
and the things inside, knowing
just when our bodies will give and break.
Each hard-packed grave is a home we’ve built.
The kids are restless. We shake
gentle and shuffle off, me
to my corner to watch the storm spread.
The wings, extra hot, make me tear. I suck
each bone clean of meat and grease,
a charnel pile on the empty plate.
The celery sticks out, bright green
challenger as the wind and dust descend.