LOVE SONG TO MINNESOTA #2

CLAIR DUNLAP

 
 

it’s here the sky stirs up storm green.
i’ve only ever watched it almost happen, seen
the whole world shake itself up and spit out somewhere south of here. heat
lightning touching the greener fields, never the yellowed
prairie nearby enough to count.
 
it’s here i find my insides making it harder: the swing
between real life and panic. the taste of it yellowed
and stagnant. the way i am never used to it, the blue heat
that made me this way. see,
 
it’s here the hands in the parking lot, the ice, the sweat downtown, see
it’s here the crying and the bones and the light
shining dim through my nothing, it’s here where i overheat
and break. & where i come back swinging
into some stronger thing. it’s here that it’s not so bad, although less green.
it’s here where i won’t let anyone paint me yellow-bellied,
 
liar, his, bitch, anything but the goldenrod
blooming in august, the turn of the trees on the mississippi’s quiet sea,
the lightning vein in spring’s greenest leaf.
 
it’s here, after all, that some giant god lights
a candle and lets me be. says maybe the anxious swing
could rock me to sleep some nights. maybe in the heat
of my sadness, there could be some small flame
kindling everything good.
 
what i mean is, the yellow grass
isn’t the worst thing about this place. the tornado siren’s swing
isn’t the worst thing about this place. the worst thing wasn’t the state, i see,
but its worst several seasons. a lack of good light.
a forgetting that not everything that’s not green
 
is dead, or almost. the moss, the morning, the sea,
not the only good things to crawl to.

 
 

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