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Meat Renga

Mind-addling pollen
Borne on breezes; we’re deep in
May, looped on freedom.

Trails bend beyond view ahead;
Our braiding wake froths behind.

Unable wholly
To know another, one stays.
Was that it—Rapture?

Tea sipped with squares of rye toast.
The world without us quivers.

She teaches them to
Knit only on fingers; praise

How light their bodies become
When borne through still deep water.

The tick, a garnet
Sprung to life, holds fast when tugged
From my girl’s blonde scalp.

We think of ourselves this way:
Vast and permanent fixtures.

The ubiquity
Of deer on these gold banks shapes
The meat of ideas.

Late nights we’re reassured by
whole taxonomies of things.

Does it surprise us
When friends like candles snuff out?
Ashes to ashes,

Silt to salt, salve to lost souls
Seeking some carnal purchase.

Katrina Roberts has published four books: Underdog; Friendly Fire; The Quick; and How Late Desire Looks. She teaches at Whitman College and along with her husband, Jeremy Barker, founded Tytonidae Cellars & the Walla Walla Distilling Company in Washington State, where they live on a farm with their three children.

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