Best of the Net 2015  

Ohio Highway Song (Lying Poem #32)

You have begun to whet, how salted
ice loves and sharpens its dark
routes. Winter thick against
             the tongue, heavy-
headed in the spring—you dry unnatural
             as teeth, prairie
                            star white, bristling of gutted
             stalks. Bone shear of wheat's
             clear spines. Snapped in
a September chill, their backs familiar as
             your peach-
tree genius, you grass-burn-
open your phone like a body
tonight, like a brown cricket still
             alive. Nothing sings in this
much pain. That's why I unravel fledglings from
the seeds you left me. Don't tell
             me how they swallow other mommas'
                            scaled babies when I give
             into thirst. Their empty mouths
                            are poppies, dark
                                       against stop signs,
                                                     crying past
                                                     detours, crying
                                       you need me more.

- Katherine Frain (from Boxcar Poetry Review)