By Jared Stanley

This poem originally appeared in EARS (Nightboat Books, 2017)


Noctilucent clouds

purple light on the hills at night—

something halfwit grand about 


mistaking the air over mourning

doves' wings for the teakettle,

warm in here, inside the war 


of ears - which one will point 

a touch out toward the clearly 

relevant silence no sound 


can pull the air outside of

when wind makes my house a flute?

It's odd to call it a deed, but


the combed over rabbitbrush  

and yellowy pollen which 

covers my knee all changeably 


interfingers me: with wind-shape, 

as with any thing strewn across 

the mouth and part of its skillset, 


what you reach out with matters,

the poor descendant tongue licks

various animalcules as it calls 


up the well-balanced semblances

that hollow the scraggy looming

of mountain mahogany, thorny


on the ridgetops, big gaps between 

much that is ear-rendered and calm

and much else that is neither 


but then touch is much clearer

on the subject of wind than

wind is, though wind is passing 


clear on the subject of dust 


Jared Stanley is the author of three collections of poetry: EARS, The Weeds, and Book Made of Forest. He lives in Reno with an historian and their daughter.
Photo courtesy of Jared Stanley.



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