Growing Season

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We move to Ohio in August,

when Ohio is all husk and yard:

chicken wire and metal stakes,

shards of tulips, last night’s bottles.

We carve a garden behind the garage,

let Ohio wedge under our nails,

let Ohio crust over our shoes.

We don’t mark our cheeks with clay.

but Ohio covers our eyes, gets caught

in our hair. Bees nesting in the eves

get dizzy in the heat, get lost inside

the window panes, noisily fling

their delicate colors against the glass.

We sleep through the static,

let Ohio die in the living room,

let Ohio crunch underfoot

in the morning. We try to dream Ohio,

speak Ohio, but our garden goes in

too late for anything except oregano,

rosemary, bushes that won’t be good

until next year anyway. We want to be

rooted in Ohio, to sleep in its cradle,

snug in the old steel and plywood

and loss. We should stop,

let Ohio bury what we plant,

let Ohio take the herbs, next year’s

spices, let go of desire. We water

everyday instead. Ohio doesn’t mind.

We sit on the front porch, watch

a hawk track a pair of finches, circle

the same oak trees. We go inside before

the finches falter, before hawk seems

to wait, tender with their fatigue, fat

in the Ohio sky. Before the dive, Ohio

lets us step through the threshold,

lets us step between the dead bees.

Ohio turns our eyes black and yellow,

turns us into small bodies of white noise.

 

Photo By:  LASZLO ILYES

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About Author

Callista Buchen's work has appeared Gargoyle, Gigantic, Bellevue Review, DIAGRAM and others, with reviews published in Mid-American Review, The Literary Review, The Collagist, and Prick of the Spindle. She is the poetry editor for Beecher's.

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