Song for Kansas II

Matt Comi


We used to live below maple street bridge
west of the old cracker factory.

It’s a wine bar now, or a coffee roaster, I think.

We only had one cat. She was sitting on the roof
of our neighbor’s place.

There is no garden.

Now, we live in another valley,
with a fence, and pole beans climbing

that fence. Squash and tomatoes trellised
up an old iron cattle-gate.

We have a wooden porch with two chairs.
Two cats beneath the chairs.

There is no garden.

Sometimes I walk west of our place,
up the dirt road past the elderberry thicket

and the pastures of Hereford cattle.
Now empty, now a big buffet.

There is no garden.

Walk up, out of the valley to the cornfields,
broad as the way to hell and I can see I-59.

A thin, slate-gray ratsnake unspooling
all the way to Oklahoma, to Texas.

There is no garden.

The cicadas in the walnut tree sing louder,
dressed in trumpet flower.

The cats bring us a dead mole, a lizard
still moving, a cricket, a grasshopper, a sparrow.

They arrange the bodies in a circle, the lizard gets away.
Cut mint and catnip drying.

Return to Fall 2018 Volume 10.1