Crooked Creek Rail Bridge

And then it turns cold, fall, the sky full of upside-down
ships, and wind, the grass turning
a bright but pale shade of green, sunlight between stark clouds, no
more yellow of daffodils, some window plastic flutters,
it’s coming, the wonderful specter of pothole-filled roads, a warm
car, gloved hands on a steering wheel, tires spinning in ditches,
snow-blindness, but now the lake outside the window is incessant, bothered
with dimples. Later it will flatten, and glow . . .
The yellow jackets rise through the wind currents, across the dead patches
of lawn and gray divots; they swim
up—glistening like enamel—crawl up under the gray-blue siding,
you place your ear against the house in order to hear them smolder,
a series of neon signs surging, a forest of cattails on fire,
something close to death breathing, waves shushing you
to sleep through an open window, stars hard as snowflakes nailed
to the sky in your brain, where you watch yourself
rise, step down into a small boat; there is a dance hall across the way,
where everyone you’ve ever touched is waiting.

David Dodd Lee has published eight collections of poetry, the most recent of which is Animalities (Four Way Books, 2014). His poems have recently appeared in Guernica, Field, Gulf Coast, Blackbird, and The Nation, among other journals. Lee teaches creative writing, visual art, and literature at Indiana University South Bend, where he also serves as editor-in-chief of the university’s 42 Miles Press.