It’s hard to be perfect in nature.
Some of the world comes too
close, or it shows too much. I spend
a lot of time thinking about that.
My neighbors’ dog is in my yard
again. Sometimes I say I hate them—
I know what I mean; that’s not
the point though. Yesterday, I
accomplished nothing – which happens
when it happens. I meant to make
up for it. Once, when I was young,
my father read my mother’s journal
out loud to me. I spend a lot of
time thinking about that too.
The Wind Explaining, Despite Itself
Then there are days when the sparse leaves
migrate across the ground like mice, making
movement seem trivial, if also honest. Even
scattered, they all progress toward gone – so
gentle a word; deceptive in its softness. And,
of course, there’s the graduality of un-being
implied by the whole thing: death, clumsily
wandering into where it wasn’t.
The afternoon splits itself in different
directions. By sunset, I will regret
having spoken to my sister—
I won’t ask anyone’s opinion.
I am always surrounded by bodies.
When I get cold enough, I start to think
I might fall asleep so deeply
that I’ll wake up somewhere else
entirely. As if from a very long dream.
In late November, the crows make
the trees seem to have leaves after dark—
clusters of unclaimed voices and heat:
I know I need to change my life.
Even then the lake was low—
my mother’s face toward the gulls
until it turned toward something else.
I suppose I’ve made my amends
with that: (it’s impossible to know
for sure). It’s April. A cold snap
is sweeping through the county. I walk
through my budding gardens whispering
brace yourselves. I will never plant rose
bushes and I don’t want to talk
about why. Once, I got lost on my
way back from doing something I
didn’t always regret. That was a different
April. The cold muscles its way into
the house – and I notice it.
I have no name on the mountain.
I thought I knew something about the
longevity of rhododendrons. I carry
big pieces of things with me; stack
them in seemingly meaningful
ways within my house. The elk show
up to raid the birdfeeders, leaving
hoofprints in the soil. One notices
me – gives a labored look, scatters
the flies from her ears,
then looks away. I will dream of
being an elk – or, I will dream of all
my teeth falling out into my hands (What’s
up with that?) Someone else’s mother
puts her arm around me. She feels me
wince – she squeezes tighter. There was
a time when that would have been enough.
Adam Schelle is a Midwest native, born and raised in South Bend, Indiana. He is a graduate of Indiana University South Bend with degrees in both English with a concentration in Creative Writing, and Women’s and Gender Studies. He current lives in South Bend, working as a copywriter and editor. The majority of Adam’s work explores various philosophies of language, identity, sexuality, and ontology. He is currently the Associate Poetry Editor for the literary publication Twyckenham Notes and is pursuing publication of his first full-length manuscript, Jawbone.