by Zach Gomes

A tattered bird had a made a tomb
in tepid water, it was a puddle
near the framework of a half-built room—
but the soul's a swerving tunnel

and the dead are waiting at the end:
all sorts of animals huddled at the fringe
where littered pine needles stand
and creep inside the sandy construction site,

pale in the morning light,
the tractors dug aesthetic swirls in the sand—
a culvert keeps the brook alive,
it flows into the forest, which learns to mend

its scars with the festering of its things:
kingfishers' shit on the berries and branches,
if the plants could undo their own stink
the heart wouldn't die on its haunches—

the morning's dew resolves to hoary ice,
its killing the greenery,
but the sandblasters lean, arranged by the outhouse, like
a dream, the first worker arrives early

he rests against a smooth-planed board—
flood the mind, but be sure to drain it out,
its his breakfast cup of tea that stores
his knowledge of beauty

past the place where the bushes are thin
there is an apple orchard, plucked to pieces at the end of fall—
trees arranged in ranks, held up with wires and strings:
a dementia arboreal—

the smells from the orchard meet
the smells from the machines and hover
above the building-zone, mixing with the bite
of cold humidity—a cruel kind of vapor