Nature 1902


an earthy matrix the work
and the tunnel will take
many years to complete our backs
growing stiff as we crawl over
soft husks of animals
who never reached the sea

patience does not protect us
from darkness we absorb
the resonating arcs of black light
until its signal
threatens to overwhelm
the sound of our blood


a path begins to shape itself
bulging forward
each moment flickering under our feet
venomous over our heads
a great tongue-shaped mass
without rain

the loss of life is a small
loop ascending
from this valley


lakes covered with cinder
trees covered
with a metallic black coat
the last soft sounds of mammals
teeth and milk

no plants protected
even in deep ravines
just dark dense stone
warm to the touch


chemical fog
eats our hair even as rains
run boiling we trace these lines

our electrified bodies swell
light comes from the best parts
touching we cannot utter
a single word
to describe the air but beneath
our ribs our lungs
keep breathing


our arms and spines move
with the mountain's weight
forced back toward
the desire that birthed us

tangled woods wild moors
deep lakes rising in open air
we remember them best
before nervous energy
turns to words


ash moves down
our throats this world was fertile once
it will be again the grass
the flowers open and spilling

dead tissue is an essential
instruction we can use
to read the field
not just matter changing form
this is a ritual
a repair

Garth Graeper is an editor at Ugly Duckling Presse in Brooklyn, NY, and the author of two chapbooks, Into the Forest Engine (Projective Industries) and By Deer Light (Greying Ghost). He is often thinking about Dorothy Wordsworth and/or volcanoes at