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Clade Song 7 left sidebar seal crane/piper llama

Clade Song 7


Hiking a stray Wichitas hill, nameless
on the refuge maps,

I step over recent scat’s beetle shine.
Porous white seizes my eye,

a longhorn’s salty peppery hide,
clear against grainy pink pits and pocks, 

pubes of yellow onion grass. She
sees, nods, scuts into fallrusty trees,

a fading crash rippling them like ancient
blood. Sh-hh-sh-hh-hhhhhhhhhh.

To follow is to break the truce,
incept the old hunt, but my pale belly

is soft, my hands wield only ink for weapons.
Looking out—the wide outfacing prairie

indifferent to its wards, protesting in
wild tones — a rivulet bolt unshorn of oak,

creamy stones frothing up grand berms,
slutty mamatus silvering flat peaks.

All made for an ill-defined you-and-me
I reduce to cattle, nationless, creedless.



Clade Song 7 right sidebar hawk frog dog

Seth Copeland edits Petrichor and New Plains Review. His work has appeared in Menacing Hedge, Crab Fat, Otoliths, San Pedro River Review, and Town Creek Poetry, among others. He teaches and studies with his wife in the Oklahoma City metro.