“They trail there, they trail” by Genevieve Kaplan


They trail there, they trail

it was the one yellow thing in the gray-green
world, the one with narrow curling tendrils, the one reaching
out, even, the one hummingbird shooting past, knee-height, yellow exactly like
(the tree-poppy, a native species), yellow as the robin’s red under-
side (reflecting off the soft dirt, soft peat). but not yellow
as the leaf there, as twisting as the soft air, the boundless animals over
short twigs, picking up the short twigs and carrying them along
in their short arms, short beaks. who drift in patterns, in waves
of sound, and echoes and cannons of them, the sirens
that (in effect) have been surrounded by (the dull roar of yellow) the only lacy
thing, the only fine thing, the only petaled thing. the gray
path slowly curving to the right, to the left, curving away, the only only
soft thing.

                 when it is quiet then the birds. (when it is still then the yellow.)

what’s closer (I have turned in all directions. I have lifted
up the leaf, pushed aside the branches, listened to the range, looked
for the small birds and the large birds and the soft animals and the hard
even off the trail, the rocks. even the pined twigs, browned
along the edge, even the distance, the total absence of clouds, the sighing
branches, the pleading birds)? what is closer is I am still here

Genevieve Kaplan.jpg

Genevieve Kaplan

Genevieve Kaplan has recently appeared in Copper Nickel, New American Writing, Denver Quarterly, and BOAAT. She is the author of In the ice house (Red Hen, 2011), and three chapbooks.

Photo Credit: Staff