Earth’s Answer – Tomah, WI

The blooming of the floodplain
is surreal in its brevity. Red-
capped mushrooms are stooge
to wind-wavering ferns. On
June evenings the riverside is a
burnished copper blade. By
night the river knits pockets
beneath town, and each sleeping
mind that passes downstream
stops to add a secret.  


in the empty shopping malls of Iowa
for the heat to come swinging over the
prairie, wild indigo lolling in the long
afternoon like a twentysomething with a
vape and a White Claw refreshing Gmail,
desperate for Seattle, Chicago, Atlanta. 

on the needled beaches of Ohio, for
more refreshing flotsam to reach your
feet, watching Christmas tree ships
slide their way from Detroit down to
Cleveland. This is your life in Middle
America, one night of Catan to the next.  

in the anesthesia of summer, of this
heartland of irony and theft, of the
ode you write with your minivan;
mayo salad, James T. Kirk, Kwik Trip
sushi. The latticework flatness of this
world touches your smallest fears. 

to stay, to try and live again.