From my room               above the trees,    I
name what I can see   in the hot house          of August:

a wash    of hay field   between house and barn,
the lake,      green-skinned   and clotted,

and the gnarl of town beyond, bare knuckled,         bridgeless.

You may            or may not     be any of these things—           I know
I left you somewhere       with a mouth   full of sand.

In the center of the field           a pit of white   in the tawny grass—
only a rotting sheep.   A little red   tufted around the neck,

the cavern of its middle    bloated    with heat.

Wind snickers over the hay. Weren’t you just holding            a baby?

You are not the sheep               or the boy   sleeping behind the barn,
his mouth wet                from a beating.

His forearms   thin rifle barrels. Not you.

The heat switches   with insects. The grass weaves   and unweaves itself.
You taught me            some birds       are sirens and sound off

just before the fires burst.       Honey-light,    cleave this skin from skin,

hot-gun me      to a borrowed body.
I am ashamed    to look           like anything at all.

Jan Verberkmoes