by Alyssa Froehling

an alone so new I could split my lip 
talking to it. off the highway, purgatory,

east of iowa. just one field exists now, 
unnamed. before, I thought there were two: with

& without. nothing above but a billboard:     
                                           if you died right now,     

I walk through grass in a shell of gold nobody,
down into green delirium. a no one, until a naked 

bird at my feet, tangled in thistle. swollen 
like butcher meat wrapped tight in plastic, 

& downed skin toxic to touch. corpse small 
enough to make the size of my hands cruel. 

as if it can still promise a second try,
its own rare world, I ask a dead thing    
                                           where would you go?

This poem first appeared in Nashville Review.

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