Mutation for the Four Headless Brothers of the
Never-Ending Apocalypse: dressed in grains of dust and
fragile crustaceans, your steps across the aerial market of
migration ripple like math. The young eagle, seen sick then
found dead, splits its carcass for you, shows its policy of
nervous radar. Your diseases spread to convince each
individual of their own power. Zoomed out, this blossoms
into an invasive homogeny—a form of eating with a knife
in each hand. The view from your windless, spouting necks
would be bug-like if your eyes remained, but they’re gone,
with every season but touch: the land underneath, statewide
footfalls, converging where the wren pecks its own heart
out into one of your outstretched, enameled hands.
Destruction, your infinite synonym, strips clean your war
chest stuffed with toxic sleep. A green, fine-smelling
hardbound book is not enough to slow you this fine
prehistoric morning. Blue jays peel out their autumn
tongues for you. Juncos plunge from winter feeders just to
crack their wings in your presence. The bodies show no
bruises yet are broken all the same. Here is what you have
forgotten: nature never wins but always returns. Carry your
lightning rods under that archway of storm and see.
F. DANIEL RZICZNEK’s books of poetry are Settlers (Free Verse Editions/Parlor Press), Divination Machine (Free Verse Editions/Parlor Press) and Neck of the World (Utah State University Press), and he is coeditor of The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Prose Poetry: Contemporary Poets in Discussion and Practice (Rose Metal Press). His poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in The Cincinnati Review, Bennington Review, Conjunctions (online), Barrow Street, Prelude, and elsewhere. He teaches writing at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio.