MATT W. MILLER
Wind wracks the limbs, lightning
scars the birch and we burrow
in the scrub by the mill
where mud is still the riverbank
from the last time
we made it rain like this. There’s rattle
in the leaves, in levers
left to settle in the mortar
and granite of tunnels, turbines,
in the rule of a tower bell.
Perhaps this is all
we’ve to come to expect
in all the cotton sugar can spin,
all the tubercular threads
risked in a shuttle’s kiss, the way
we’re thrown out only to warp
back in. Me, I kept wanting
my redbrick river of city, kept
climbing through it to finger
all its cantilever
and cobblestone, its locks
and its syringe lit bones.
But it just kept growing,
like grass mantling graveyards,
spooling out beyond my toes,
until it disappeared completely.
Matt W. Miller is the author of the collections The Wounded for the Water, Club Icarus, and Cameo Diner. He is a former Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University and a Walter E. Dakin Fellow in Poetry at the Sewanee Writers' Conference.