THE BEAU GESTE EFFECT

CHELSEA BUNN

 

Up  here  there  is no  one    but
me    most     days    and      I’ve
learned  to  quiet  myself  when
the     coyotes     come   yipping
into    the    crepuscular    wind.
Beau  geste,   we’ve  named  the
distortion   of   their   scattered
voices,          their         auditory
illusion:   three  can  sound like
seven,       two       like      eight.
Sometimes    I   feel   they   are
surrounding    me,    fear    they
want    to    drag   me   through
dark      paths      behind      the
houses   they   circle.
 
Why  did  you  leave  your   life,
they   howl.   Idiot.   You   won’t
find  a  job,  or  friends,  and we
watch   the   smoke  pour  from
your    chimney    every    night,
laughing   at    your   weakness.
While   you   sleep,   we    pace.
We   were   there   the  morning
you  woke  to  fire  in  the west,
the  morning  you  woke  to the
peach   tree  split  in  half,   the
morning  you  woke  to  a  dead
owl   in   the   rain   barrel.   We
knew    before    you    did.  You
will   never   know  how   many
we   are.

 

 

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