A Poem – Jared Beloff


               after Todd Dillard

cars inch in reverse along the freeway
careful not to tap the fenders behind them
free base their exhaust with a muffler’s open straw
pull backwards into lots, driveways and dealerships.

our hands unshake, we let go: factory stacks inhale smoke,
a miasma of sparks spider back to disassemble the front door,
remove the mirrors, wheels, brakes, workers tear upholstery
like blisters until their arms hang limp in the breakroom.

derricks see-saw a slurry of oil and mud, an unrefined plunge
into the ground; corn stalks replant whole, staked like golden flags
farmers wade out of their fields, hands floating over grain
feel their callouses soften, their handle grips loosen like seeds,

a return: jets vacuum white vapor like Icarus gathering feathers
or Ariadne respooling thread, until the tapestry is clear,
even the loom is gone—only the clouds like drifting pods
seem natural, seem to know where all of this is leading.

Jared Beloff is a teacher and poet who lives in Queens, NY with his wife and two daughters. You can find his work in Contrary Magazine, Rise Up Review, The Shore, Barren Magazine and elsewhere. You can find him online at www.jaredbeloff.com. Follow him on twitter @read_instead.

Banner Art: Cabin Side by M.S. Evans (c) 2021. MS Evans is a guest reader and editor on the Work & The Anthropocene Project for Ice Floe Press. She is a widely published author, a Pushcart nominated poet, and a visual artist with work in Feral, Black Bough, Ice Floe Press, and many other venues. She recently had a solo show of her photographic works in Butte, Montana. Twitter: @seanettleink.

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