Myself, A Barbed Wire

By Daniel Lassell

This early morning, I walk
into the fields that tumble over
and across the pond, and I find,
in the farm of my heart, a warmness
peeled back, ventricles open,
its craving untenable, the strings
of arteries wound into bows.
The barbed wire of this clearing
loop-de-loops with the wind
into odd sunsets. At night
the points narrow to the moon,
to the several planets orbiting
their personal stars.
Are they really as massive
as the scientists say?
Carve through air with metal
and eventually it pinches
something deep. Look around.
The trees have become fence posts.
Ore has become wire, some artifact
that used to twine with the rocks
beneath me. Some man
clamored it out, and I wonder
if the housing squinted at the light.
If the prod sliced or impaled
him as he lifted it.
Evolution is another word for fate,
and though some might claim
a sameness of these barbs, saying
they’ve been fashioned
to be the same, I see now
how they are distinct
in their line, even though
meant to draw lines,
to keep out or in.
The mist rolls over the hills:
tell me you don’t see yourself
in those tiny puddles,
as they cling to the barbs
and exit when the sunlight comes.


Version 11

DANIEL LASSELL grew up on a llama and alpaca farm in Kentucky. He is the winner of a William J. Maier Writing Award, runner-up for the 2016 Bermuda Triangle Prize, and a finalist for the 2017 Nancy D. Hargrove Editors’ Prize. His poetry can be found or forthcoming in Lunch Ticket, Hotel Amerika, Rust+Moth, Connotation Press, and elsewhere. Last year, he received a Pushcart Prize nomination from Pembroke Magazine. He lives with his wife in Fort Collins, Colorado.

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