by Evan McGarvey
FROM THE WILLIAM J KOCH COLLECTION:
THE WELLS FARGO WAGON REMEMBERS THE MUSIC MAN
THIRSTY APOLLONIAN DRAFT HORSES drag me,
interrupt the short grasses, the water pump,
the woman working it, Wichita mounds, poxes
on wool, poxes on animals, a settler child’s
red bouncing ball. Prairie, I just finished up a new
performance. Prairie, I bring sheets of cotton
oh please let it be for me / a grapefruit / a harness
under which I yoke what I desire / gorgeous tallow
cold enough to sleep in / I want myself to remain
a carriageI don’t know how I can ever wait
Wake me. Let me bring candied vaccines
to the endangered weasels. Let me ride
on desire & cotton money again. I don’t
know how I can ever wait.
MEMORIES OF AN INFLUENZA IN THE GREAT PLAINS
The geese came in wedges
to sing toward the prairies
to land among the sorghum
to unfurl themselves among the crops
to disperse the doctored steer
to green up the earth with waste.
Now, let the season drive you out
from the subdevelopment
named for the antidotes and clover
planted in the fields in response.
Sing about health among winter wheat.
Forgive the ring roads, the off ramps,
all the city’s apertures that ferried
what we thought was only a seasonal narrative
what we thought devotions could beat back,
believing that the body dusts itself off,
that it will forge another path into health
through the great silences coming in on the breeze.
EVAN McGARVEY is a poet and writer. His work has appeared in Crazyhorse, The New Republic, Michigan Quarterly Review, Pitchfork, and Crab Orchard Review. He lives in Texas where he tutors high school students.