Wick Effect

In music
but there is no music
on acreage
but no land remains
in history
but no past will do
in the landscape
but the orchards are dead
the deeds handed over
only the rotted sidewall
of memory
which can bear no weight
where we salted the hay
where the barn
became char to its studs
where we blamed
the closest thing
which was you
whose name
even now
we refuse to say
even now
who we lashed
and dragged
and chained
and obscured
and watched burn
as we rhymed
our bodies
with all the old lies.

Michael McGriff is the author of several books, most recently the poetry collection Early Hour (Copper Canyon Press, 2017) and the linked story collection Our Secret Life in the Movies (A Strange Object, 2014), which was an NPR Best Book of 2014. He can be found online at MichaelMcGriff.com.