Chris Dombrowski


Get Up, John

Here comes dawn and nothing rosy
about her fingers — stove-flame
blue and some hand must’ ve turned
the burner on: the little tongues
licking, gradually, the teapot of  us
aboil, cooking off a giardia
of  stars, the dregs of our night-
mares. Who will place his fingers
in the nailmarks, come near enough
to smell death in its hair? Already we’ ve
some of us slid back into our bodies,
restirring the air our breaths stirred
all night — whoever we are while
we sleep — and gone about believing


I tracked it through the one mind of  the woods.
Its hoofprints pressed in snow were smallish hearts.
Buck fawn: he let me come so near, take aim.
Crouched against a fir, I was anything.
Bush, stump, doe in estrus he could rut.
Not his maimer, though, not his final thought.
He stared me down until I shot him: low.
Then the forest forgot he’ d ever been.
Nascent, there were signs: bonechip, spoor, frail hair.
But no memory, wounded, wants to die.
He hid in the dark timber, twice crossed the creek.