Ian U Lockaby
The Woods to this Song
A little footed shoe blue inside the magnolia brambled and spore
The entire bayou, a foot soak and all the muddy minerals of Louisiana
between my four left toes prayers mount the mosquitoes before wavering
into fever before the fever. The entire bayou squishing in my shoe—
magnolia babies shiny headed in the sunset Japanese ferns climbing
slow emergency ladders in upward picnic
I don’t know the woods to this song.
No longer trying to return
‘mongst th’ natural (there is no, naturally)
that could breed something to save us
(mosquito leaves won’t save you)
but to leave what you leave when you leave:
to smell the smoke the black cherry bitterskeins sweetduff calm rot tarry
in the sun only to forget ten minutes of gasoline the mess of mustard
canola flowers rapeseed yellowing you whole way home.
Still, when the burn embers out in the dusk
I go plucking firefruits in the ash like we could live on it.
That later you realize the smoke is of a nearby backyard garbage fire—
only subtle-tarnish the effect: breaking your head off of rigged-right angles
the seven straightfaced lines in every glance (Here, a history of headless steeple—
here, so fresh the acephale)
to see yourself barely audible
in the mechanisms.
Polyester lace caught so many magnolia stud the whole fertile bayou
in my shoe by the time I reached the forest edge, my step broke
heavily with the weight of a woods four trees abreast everything round
in my canopied head
the magnolia trees boom with the scent
Ian U Lockaby currently resides in Baton Rouge, LA where he’s an MFA candidate at Louisiana State University, is the Assistant Editor of New Delta Review and co-directs the Underpass Reading Series. He has poems forthcoming in APARTMENT.