Will Baker




When the cerf lost its spots

I was born a tepid man in a lawn of my collective memory
where the ether of the bloom recalled to me every season
I'd spent sowing my satisfaction and good health
so that when I appeared, naked, old, and bewildered,
I might languish in its midst awhile
and come to understand why I sold my plot.

Wading through the growth, I held no precedent - 
the brush trodden and the flowers picked -
despite my dire conviction
that it was as new to I as I to it. 

I was led by gnarled roots to a thicket on fire
where a supine doe cried like a new mother 
at the horror of her fawn,
prostrate under his carapace, bleating
but not bleeding. 

I was driven by the smoke to a dewed clearing
that, under the burden of inverted mountains,
harbored a weighted pool that reflected everything light.

So I drank of it, and drank all of it, 
and fell to the summit above me. 

Bruised by heavy rain forever of my wealth
I ascended with patience and without practice
and with fear and without faith
and with the kind of inklings that turn green horns upon one's self
until I came to 
the base, where the ruins of a familiar hospital
were sustained and sublimated by capillary vines.

Beckoned by song, I've come to a hall of broken technologies
where a girl nurses two identical boys with different heads
and pleads to the walls and floor with immolating eyes
in a parlance I'll always remember, but never know.

— 2010