The Field of False Horizons
For the Mima Mounds
Not that they're lying to you, but they are lying
like a game of checkers gone to seed.
For explaining this fraying away
of land at countless knees, the reasons
are mere pretense to the possible: their recline
is decline from once-named causes. Remember
as they do the earth in seizure and you
might bolt up like a blister. Or instead, recollect
the glacier's plod, dragging its feet
cubed of silts and stones. A new skin
of rain buries the mark
made by a wide flight of fire. Someone leaving
someone set to skipping stones, but the creek dried up,
then everything dried up. What was left was settled
around what could still stand
to be touched. No more
or less majestic in effusions,
forgive us, then, the flatness of our lives.
JAY YENCICH has published poems and reviews in venues such as Best New Poets 2021, Mantis, Pleiades, Poetry Northwest, and The Seattle Review. He earned his MFA from the University of Washington, where he received the Academy of American Poets Prize, and is presently a PhD candidate at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he studies Old English, early modern British literature, and ecopoetics.