By John Woods

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In their season, they lurch down from the camper through gray-crusted snow to hunch ancestrally: the shiver-and-shake of urination, marking the clearing with steam. They have license. When trees rage and char, when we fold silkskins into the camphor, chewing dark fat, these men take down long bows, the fowling pistols and skinning knives.  Their necks rasp. Their nails deepen to blue steel. Hair springs out of their cheeks. Then there is the war of the bumper stickers, hatchbacks glaring at each other in parking lots.

I loved you in ways that took my life to imagine. You said, find another, your farming is too much trouble. The leaves fall in vegetable peace, immortal and neuter. Men with strong hands will plant you and spin you in bar light and will never know your poem, a place in the country where you put your body down to bless its shape. Page 62 Crying Out Even now, we do not know the times that stamp the wrinkle grid on our flesh. I looked down and found my hands curled horn.  Mayo said he knew it the moment we shook.

Here at least we will love and serve forever. When the skull plates close, when the squinting navel forgets its roots, all who bear the mark of birth will hear a cry in the night, and a child will sit up, amazed, in the crib of bones. Page 13 Exit Wounds Open your eyes twice, once for the spring's revels, all that the shaky funnels of the brow can bear, and once for dreaming. Open your mouth twice, once for the biscuits and ale, all that the trembling door of the face will let in, once to cry love and loss.

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