Today's poem is by Christopher DeWeese

Beat the Ranger

I am from extremely real streets.
Hills where cars spun and slipped
through Styrofoam winters
like graphs of downward mobility.
I was like "Show me a freak
and I'll show you a mirror,"
my mother a compass
measuring the apex of my potential.
I lived with a tiger before.
Like an orphan gone official,
I gave up all hope
and lived with a lion once.
Snow diminished the borders
neighbors recognized
until their driveways rusted,
mugs full of "graveyard"
emptied to dissolve the filthy ice.
I slept with my tongue sticking out
as if I were nostalgic
for that old envelope taste,
a standard cavalry
ringing the growl inside me.
"I'll sit out this forest fire," I mumbled.
I kissed my own hand
and started chewing.
My tent held the sound
high tide scrapes from driftwood
like a grandfather,
suburbs ringing with it
where hair meets camping.
I left something important there;
a stack of rocks, a fort that lasted,
a plastic garbage bag
full of my secrets, which were food
where bears lingered
between my soul and my fear
like real bears inside me
as I slept, fire buried under the sand
like a harvest so perfect
no one remembers eating it.

Copyright © 2009 Christopher DeWeese All rights reserved
from Bat City Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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