after Ilya Kaminsky & Mary Oliver
to inherit the farm’s pulverized past except to act
like a child & play in the dirt. Finger loose openings
which descend their animal graves. & softly
abandon myself back to the soil that accepted me first.
To walk the furrow I sadly made. & find
that the field mice die in a similar color. & in that way
are hidden well. To uncover the dark as the dark
whether six feet under or tomb. Shallow plot
or world-weary rot. & still believe that the hole
is not but instead leads to the destination. & earns
its crawler a lifetime of forgiveness . . . How else
to absolve the sinner I am except to draw the portrait
of another. Train in the craft for years. Find a face
worth memorizing. One I choose to carry with me.
Fail long before I succeed. & only then
worry if my portrait will be drawn next. An old man
who hid from now answering to disease. Hunched over,
gripping his gut. How else to bear the animal of this body
except with the soft unburdened hands of a boy?
• • •
TO READ MORE POETRY, PICK UP A COPY OF VOL 53.4
LUCAS DANIEL PETERS is a queer poet from rural Indiana. He received his MFA in poetry from Syracuse University. His work is forthcoming in the Missouri Review, Southern Indiana Review, and the Greensboro Review, and he is a grant recipient through United States Artists. He currently lives in Albany, NY where he works as a tutor for Siena College.