smoke softening into it and the light
complicit with the smoke and softening, too,
into the field’s hitherto horizon, the field
a blur of turned drumlin. A flick of ash
and a mottled dove melts into the failing hickory.
So this is the sunset with you removed—
a circle withdrawing into a deeper circumference,
and so on. Then some. When you were,
light knew its home and kept within it.
Names held their course. Each poem chose
one headstrong color and became it utterly,
not like this blownback space, this all-
over sound, where petal can mean mare pressed
to ground, can mean little girl lost, little woman
stormbound. Words need edges to survive. Or else,
this hickory and its gathering of doves, this everywhere-
song, this widower burning behind the window.
CARA DEESholds an M.F.A. degree from Vanderbilt University. She is the recipient of an Academy of American Poets University & College Poetry Prize from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a scholarship from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, a Pushcart Prize nomination, and she was a finalist for Indiana Review’s 2016 Poetry Prize. Her work appears in or is forthcoming from Beloit Poetry Journal, Best New Poets 2016, Crazyhorse, The Journal, and Gulf Coast.