He sees stars like seed scattered in nightsoil.
Heart rubber brittles before dying. He’s gone
back to his ex-wife’s frozen farm. Bitter thorn
of her want, sour rain, she claimed her own heart
was both pit bull and pumpkin. She taught Deadbeat
perineum, wanted a word in exchange. He offered her
duende, which she had. On a nail in her closet door
hangs her brother’s cracked, black leather jacket,
the heavy clothes of the loved dead but not gone.
Listen to Jay Baron Nicorvo read “Deadbeat on the Farm with Cow”
Jay Baron Nicorvo’s poetry, fiction, nonfiction and criticism have appeared in Subtropics, The Iowa Review, The Literary Review, and The Believer. His debut poetry collection, Deadbeat, is forthcoming from Four Way Books. He teaches at Western Michigan University, where he’s faculty advisor to Third Coast, and he lives in Battle Creek (a.k.a. Cereal City) on the old Godsmark farm with his wife, Thisbe Nissen, their newborn, Sonne Niscorvosen, and their nine chickens, among them a Red Frizzle named Zsa Zsa van Loon.
Homepage photograph via Flickr by Horst Fuchs