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The Present, Tense

I am walking in the field and this is
All there is; all there ever is, is this:

Mornings like a broken yolk in the pan,
Midday rye with mayo and tomato,

The late afternoon gold flakes of shirred leaves
Riffled by the breeze, dogs barking at squirrels,

Each other. Sad coyotes at dusk trot
Their dun bodies into the lit field, find

A catch to gnash their teeth against. Nights
The field becomes a natty blue bedspread

As you dream the sky is a blackboard, each
Chalky name a star erasing slowly.

Which do you remember, do you forget?
And what if there is no field? Only this

Misremembering. And the field does change,
The field does turn, thin green shoots filling in,

Shoots that erupt into soft heads that fall
Then hurry the thorned balls that catch on socks,

Infiltrate the lip of your sneakers, rage
Against bony ankles. Winters whitewash

The details, gray the animal bodies
That make their way across this forever unfolding field.

Cati Porter is a poet, editor, essayist, arts administrator, wife, mother, daughter, friend. She is the author of eight books and chapbooks, including The Body at a Loss, forthcoming from CavanKerry Press.