Moose Dreams

By William Johnson
Read by Sarah M. Sala

There are times when all the chutzpa I
can muster isn't enough, fug and bluster
all I can do, and damned if it doesn't
just stand there, legs straddling
a berm of washboard dust-ruts
and in late noon sun stare me
blue in the face: lord, we could almost
trade places, my back strained
by the weight of those great bone wings,
my tongue itching for lily root.
And musk, lord, the pheromones,
a day so sweet with elderberry's too rank
fume I could die twice over snuffing.
While the truck mumbles and a trout spanks
the cooler, I almost outdo myself.
But reason, that too-convenient shortcut,
creeps back, if only so far: the rest as we say
is silence, dust and the sputter of flies
and when lumbering to go it pauses
and throws me its last worst look
its sorrow is Christ's, dewlap
jeweled, a beatitude of moss.


Directed by Matthew Thompson.

"Moose Dreams" by William Johnson first appeared in Poetry.