Ryler Dustin Late Garden

Late Garden


On Easter we made

love though

you were bleeding

and after you showed me

how to plant flowers

in the hollows

of trees—

watched me claw

black silt

from the just-thawed


to scoop into the bowl

of a fallen fir—

loosely, you said

so rain

can trickle through

and make the new

shoots ache.


Rows of sweet corn whisper

around a house

like the one you were born in—

clapboards dusted

with pollen, pathways

winding like tributaries

toward the steeple a few miles off.

I am pissing downwind

carefully. Bon Jovi

blares from your idling car.

We drive off, sweet scent

of corn in our skin,

our rumor

on the lips of leaves.


In your hoop house

we spread ash and fold out

the terrycloth

to keep the new seeds warm—

weight the corners

with bricks, brush

slow spiders

away as the dusk wind

draws over the field.

My finger shivers

on sudden softness,

cotton nests

on a cool brick’s underside—

three clusters of eggs,

one burst

with bright bodies

small as lacquered dust—


a just born star.


Sometimes the sun slows


everything. I lower

my lids

to feel it, hot


on skin.

I open. You laugh

and distant lindens


like fish in the wind.

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