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Sara Burant


            notes in a secret pocket    
                     skritch-skritch-skritch no one hears    except maybe
the skin’s indigenous microbiota    sensingsensingsensing    changes

                                        in the temperature field   

                                                                               & still the moon

                                                                growing more alone   
                                            a more-or-less blank spot

            & you    knowing where to step    so as not to__________

                                            knowing what to avoid    & whose invisible static

a blot pulling usually from the left    the left    sorry doesn’t seem to be so very_________
                                                                                        only to
                                            to move

                                                    to move out of    the way

tsch-pp tsch-pp tsch-pp    night-skitter    night-skitter’s repetition

                                                                                        letting darkly ( of fearfulness ) go

                                    the boldness    of that


         ( 1 )

In Albrecht Dürer’s 1496 etching Die wunderbare Sau von Landser
the pig has one head, four ears, two bodies & tongues.

Two braced forelegs keep her from listing. Four hindlegs support her unwieldy back-end. Legs seven & eight reach up from her shoulder blades, bending at the knees as if  wanting to sit her upsidedown in the sky.

                                    Dürer, in Nuremberg, “relied on verbal descriptions of the sow born on a Landser farm,” the good people reading in her arrival a sign of something dreadful about to come.

But the artist’s interest lay in the body,
disequilibrium finding momentary stasis
before pitching solidly into

Such care taken with legs that never knew ground, knee joints & muscles—brachialis, extensor carpi radialis—precisely cloven hooves.

                   ( 2 )

A dwarf I half-recognize brings a crimped
& fluted pie, its very red interior

flecked with yellow seeds. The secret
he confides is to tumble it in a clothes dryer.

(The watcher watching flinches, suspicious of the knowledge the dwarf possesses)

No, no, I assure you. Agitation is required
to make the thing exquisite he insists, taking

my bent little hands, spinning
then tossing us both in its heat.

  ( 3 )

Clouds speak a landscape, bruised tones
that could be a lake, a field or simply more
sky, possibilities I people with horses,

whole eras living inside their exhalations


The future is a drum we might-could make talk— In the book of spells, when the word is just right

The last part of their story might be thought a little sad

A good week is she dries & puts

away a [silent] circumference

that [who] swallows them both

a clock announcing the minutes

aren’t sleeping but pacing, recounting

she won’t get up, doesn’t want to

break them


Between summer’s sweaty bottle & later’s hoofprints in snow he’s to be found beside the former in a chair, talking with the vague but persistent huuuuuuu a wind [or a fly] [or she] is making in the glass throat


It amuses him to mimic
[her] a drip drip drip
she must [internalize]
        & fall asleep to

glacial diminishment
the soft gray dirt of

a high stony place
holding [prints] until
        it hardly ever rains

who follows whom to
he says he’ll risk a

solo climb & because
[she won’t] there are many

as in mountain lion cougar
Puma concolor

names for one thing like
sunlight licks the ice

like the creek comes
to life watching her

less afraid of [him] falling
        than of being left

alone out here over & over
her mind sketches

        rock-voices all night


Saying so little of consequence she [might just] merit his lapses in taste the caricature [the other] her speaking in dashes & squeaks


Remove the time
[markers] & she
keeps approaching

pressing an enormous
hand over their face

a shallow grave
waking in a tent
thinking she’s awake

a hump on her back
a hump on her back & snorting


The map no one hands her is blank, directionally speaking she does not pretend to be not-lost, looking [to press] outward, full-up, bud-consciousness that must hint at the purple of was [still is] tender beneath his skin


Under her tongue she

keeps yesterday’s

[stone] otherwise to wade 

through an immensity

like glue

The table wiped of

every trace

her mind gathered as gaze

quiet with [a hint

of] frantic

antennae & wings

just emerging from

the larval closet

population vector or cloud 

finger tornado over mons

& clit only she

touches [herself now]

the cry as if it belongs

Sara Burant
lives in a yurt in Eugene, Oregon. A graduate of the St. Mary’s College of California MFA program, she’s the author of a chapbook, Verge, and new poems too numerous to count. Her poems and reviews have appeared in various journals. She’s committed to process, radical revision, giving her poems all the time and space they need to be realized. Current work resists narrative and arises from an awareness of threats to both human and non-human communities posed by climate change.