Kaleigh Spollen


The land yields
under oxhearts with their
swell, fieldlocked and
It’s not enough
to water them once -

you kneel in the fog gap
watch cows watch their young
with liquid eyes. Pale skies drape
over vetch alive and thrusting
with summer heat. Your tongue is white.
My muscles are loose like
the outline of a great star.

The man on the radio
talks of children shedding viruses,
speaks of
vesicles and lymph, a flu that struck early.
It’s only September and
there is chervil but
there are things
that unspool from your mouth
I can’t gather

in the wake of afternoons
slipping into dusk into fevers into
chaparral, dry like thin threads of wood
and tomato warm on our gums
and cool hands
and sleep -

I carry
water in the dark
so you can lap it up
your teeth a band of lit matches
in the meadow.

Kaleigh Spollen is a writer currently based in Oakland, CA.