Clade Song 9

Bottle The Frost

Whatever the frost can’t kill grays in the moonlight.
We scour the flattened reeds, the ear-shaped beds belong
to whitetails, you guess. I’ve never killed one, but
I’ve sure seen them dead.
I am a catalogue of bad thoughts.
I flitter to the river where scripture is a cutbank.
Carrion festers - carcass chest lilts in the creek,
flesh below water preserved in fresh innocence.
Years back, you wore brother’s faded overalls —
hand rolled cigarette pouched in your breast.
The names we carve in the gut of the maple
will erase in tomorrow’s storm. The carcass will fade.
We bottle the frost - save it for hotter days.


Joseph L. Dahut is an MFA candidate in Poetry at New York University whose work has appeared in The Drake, Tail Magazine, and The Sand Canyon Review, among others. Joseph lives in Brooklyn as an educator, poet, and fly fishing guide.