I feel close to Dad on the drive home, our legs mud-dry and tired, the tackle box between us, the pillowcase full of fish and ice. She’ll never admit it, but Mom will be impressed, I’m sure. In a million years she’d never guess how we caught so many. I’ll never tell.October 2022
In the backseat on long car rides home from my grandmother’s house in southern Illinois, I cataloged light sources in the dark: gazing at flare towers burning above oil wells, watching the taillights of faster cars shrink to pinpoints, following the sweep of flood lamps up the domes of concrete grain silos.August 2022
These were strange and intoxicating expeditions. At the cliff-lined ends of forest-service roads or the edges of muddy cattle tanks, or in the cricket-loud groves where saguaros gave way to oaks, I would help stretch nets on moonless evenings. Bats fluttered into the thin weave and were trapped, toothy and screaming.August 2022
I count out the dog’s pills — one for pain, / one for swelling, five to oil those scraping joints — / a rosary I pray will go on forever. I believe / I am staving off the inevitable.
— from “Devotion”August 2022
Shanna Swan On The Worldwide Drop In Fertility
Frisch: You found about a 1 percent decline in sperm counts per year.
Swan: Yes, which would mean a 50 percent decline over fifty years. We’re actually seeing something a little steeper than that.August 2022
The emergence of intelligence, I am convinced, tends to unbalance the ecology. In other words, intelligence is the great polluter. It is not until a creature begins to manage its environment that nature is thrown into disorder.
How can I find a way to praise / it? Do the early inventors & embracers / churn with regret?August 2022
My chest, which was beginning to grow round in the wrong places, had to be hidden under a T-shirt no matter how hot or sweaty I became. Out in the desert I had to squat behind the cover of creosote bushes to pee. At home in my family’s Airstream I was my parents’ youngest daughter, but up in the paloverde I felt like one of the boys.July 2022
Call next door, ask / neighbors on the west if they can spare / any wine, and suddenly a jarful comes / across the fence — fresh, unfiltered. We / open mats beside Meandering River’s / long currents, crystalline winds arrive, / and you’re startled it’s already autumn.June 2022
An oyster leads a dreadful but exciting life. Indeed, his chance to live at all is slim, and if he should survive the arrows of his own outrageous fortune and in the two weeks of his carefree youth find a clean smooth place to fix on, the years afterwards are full of stress, passion, and danger.April 2022