William Doreski: “A Damp Spot”

A Damp Spot

A damp spot in the forest.
Mist rises and clots the pine-tops,
erasing distance that enables
my sense of simple geography.

You never worry about your grip
on the planet, and ignore me
when I worry that gravity
will fail on my daily walk
and set me adrift in shades
of gray lacking innuendo.

You rake wet leaves into piles
shaped like extinct animals.
When I help you drag tarp-loads
into the woods I feel funereal.

Bored and exhausted by yard work,
I visit that damp spot and breathe
the mist, absorbing as much of it
as my slack old lungs can swallow.
If I were still a man among men
I’d lie in that muck and expect
to sink deeply enough to anchor
my body where it belongs.

You’d never bother searching
for my papery little remains,
but would collect my insurance
and rake away your modest grief.

More rain coming. I’ll cover
the firewood I split this morning,
then slip indoors for a sip
of the six-dollar vodka hidden
behind a bag of cat litter
where it almost never tempts me
to pour it all over myself
and pretend I’ve gone up in flames.

 

William Doreski‘s work has appeared in various e and print journals and in several collections, most recently A Black River, A Dark Fall.

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