Conecuh, Adam Kamerer
We walk the many miles of Conecuh National Forest
in December after the summer fires,
past the empty firewatch tower
into darker places
where the pines smother out to silence
the rush and the human air.
I shiver against the chill and the damp
and stare at your back.
You lead us off the trail into the throat
of the wood, into a thicket
where the charred trunks stand too close
and there you find the atlas bone of a deer
graved in frost and leaf mold,
you lead, I follow,
the singular bone of a deer,
the rest of the body gone to scavenger mouths
or decomposition or just gone to vapor.
Here you tell me to make my offerings:
you say weave a circlet of pine straw,
leave a snail shell, settle the bone
in a circle of leaves and pebbles
and while I busy myself with obedience
you strip off your clothes.
Winter holds your wrist.
You reveal the bones of your hips
to all the knotholes of these cold wet woods,
and I stare while you make your offerings:
your gooseflesh, your shiver, your white breath
and the heaving of your chest.
You gift up an elegy to something older than God.
I gift up a question asked in awe:
How do you make haunt and reverie
the same thing?
Adam Kamerer is always getting lost in the woods. His poems have appeared in Anatomy & Etymology, Borderline, and Four And Twenty. He has authored two poetry collections: Bone Fragments and Ventricle, Atrium, credited as Gabriel Gadfly. Read more of his poetry at http://adamkamerer.com.