MOUNTAIN MAHOGANY

By Jared Stanley

This poem originally appeared in EARS (Nightboat Books, 2017)

Noctilucent clouds
purple light on the hills at night—
something halfwit grand about

mistaking the air over mourning
doves' wings for the teakettle,
warm in here, inside the war

of ears - which one will point
a touch out toward the clearly
relevant silence no sound

can pull the air outside of
when wind makes my house a flute?
It's odd to call it a deed, but

the combed over rabbitbrush  
and yellowy pollen which
covers my knee all changeably

interfingers me: with wind-shape, 
as with any thing strewn across
the mouth and part of its skillset, 

what you reach out with matters,
the poor descendant tongue licks
various animalcules as it calls

up the well-balanced semblances
that hollow the scraggy looming
of mountain mahogany, thorny

on the ridgetops, big gaps between
much that is ear-rendered and calm
and much else that is neither

but then touch is much clearer
on the subject of wind than
wind is, though wind is passing

clear on the subject of dust

18_04_19 Jared Stanley.jpg

Jared Stanley is the author of three collections of poetry: EARS, The Weeds, and Book Made of Forest. He lives in Reno with an historian and their daughter.
Photo courtesy of Jared Stanley.

Maren Rush