Carnival Season
    Mathias Svalina
Through the field stormed with mown bird bones
and weed stalks brittling to brown,
we walk. Did she whisper she loved me last night
or did a bat, urgent creature, spittle the air?
The midnight rain transformed the dead wheat
into bodies, recording our movements
for an audience that will never exist.
Did she touch me at all?

I'm tired. I admit it.
Tired of beauty being something I should care about,
that a person can kiss another person,
not expecting their lips to melt
like plastic on a burner.

Finally she speaks: I hadn't touched anyone in days.
My face feels so hot until I touch it.
She touches it. Today each step flusters the grass
into flight--and for a moment our footsteps
are blessed with white moths. They rise only to be still,
to wait for night.

Mathias Svalina lives in Richmond, VA.


In Posse: Potentially, might be ...