Greg Glazner


Sick to death of the hardpan shoulder,

the froth of noise
the undersides of the cedars make,

the windblown dark that hints
and fails for hours at effacement —
maybe I could claim it isn’ t

praying, but it’ s asking,
at the least, begging
that these lungfuls of this blackness

eat whatever keeps on swelling
and collapsing in my chest, and be done
with it, no more noise

left hanging in the spaces
between brake lights than a smothered rush
that sounds like suffering

“You could lighten

up a little,” he says,
shutting the rusted tailgate,
“maybe at least lean
down from your high horse
and look busy,” picking up
his work gloves and his spade.

“You’ re not the only
hick on the clock
with an education,” he says, half-
laughing, half-wheezing,
and spits, his bottom lip bulging
with a load of Skoal,“even
if you do think pretty highly
of your poetry.”