Seth Copeland


The girl holds a ram skull
                               up to her face like a mask.
A murder of crows sends the
                               applause of their takeoff
across the white-haired glade.
                               the dirt smells clean in the cold,
as a shadow on still grass.

Our youth’s chapped tussle
                               over evening’s silent tongues.

Here we have gathered dry sticks
                                                                            like so many
dead baskets, birthing a baby fire
                                                                            to cackle and spit.
Evening, call off your wind.
We count on this to grow.

Parallel Forest

A blowzy ginger ruts with a shaggy boy in this tonsured scalp of skunked prairie/Swart contusions of bison on the onion yellow grass carved and stripped to bald a vagrant circle edging a blackjack copse/here the cedars pause to cheatgrass menthol breathed sop pinks/she sounds like she’s crying half the time but he just plows on through as if unwatched by an isosceles fling of sandpipers overhead/a fusty hush festoons the cedars to shiver/after profaning the buffalo wallow, our lovers crunch on looking for the Spanish style arrastra everyone thinks is a witch’s altar, barnacling the bend in Cedar Creek where totems of lemon mint powder the fuck musk with tarty earthen tang/roads are classified as disturbed habitats/they spend twenty minutes on that/decide roads are terrorism for the wild/protest a blunt into a meaningless rune eating out the air with fiery tonguelaps until a white van of church kids comes up/calls it in to the rangers fifteen minutes after the culprits have gone.

Seth Copeland is an editor for petrichor and The New Plains Review. He lives and studies in the Oklahoma City metro.
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