by Ian Mathes

June Makes us forget

            Winter sends our

nerves to temptation.

            It’s June, nineteen

thirteen and it will

           always be for you.


The people gather below

            God’s mountain. They,

the ones in white, forget.

            Those cherry cheek

souls prance with wide

            gates in the heat,

in the meadow's

            trim grass, in

the tittering-to-the-touch dew


The congregation in

            front has only just

arrived, expanding and

            retracting their silk

umbrellas for some time.


The couple running,

            they’ll run to horizon’s

breast to nuzzle it,

            never actually reaching –

blind to the drop-off

            of repetition

for they find their

            rushing feet too interesting.


Those black spires

            of sack suites and petite

coats, they hang

            in share with idle


            bound to their clothes.


Yet, you stare while

            everyone else is occupied

with saddle shoe laces,

            virgin gowns, those

consistently tasty

            cucumber sandwiches,

and earnest talk.


You see fidgeting off frame.

            You see Bellows


            in his studio.

You see me

            in bankrupt Detroit.

You see the pocket

            with the highest bid.


You are the green oracle

            cursed to remember

the seasons that circle

            like the buzzards in

the dead heat.

            You are bound in evergreen

robes during the early

            Midwest Summer.

You do not forget

            the dog-day eats its

tail as you look

            past these people

with sunken eyes,

            kneeling and watching

the glass horizon

            cycle through eternity.


A Day in June (1913) – oil on canvas painted by George Wesley Bellows. It is owned by the Detroit Institute of Arts and on display.