The Backwoods

The Backwoods 


I knew a girl more intimately than my life

before her knew wasted time. I 

knew the nightingale and moon that perished

and were reborn in her voice; knew 

the high school auditorium that crumbled 

in her absence, its bleachers like 

the belch of ogres too. I knew the Pabst 

Blue Ribbon that would not make 

an effort to know me, but next to her 

the bonfire suddenly gave me the time 

of day. I knew her name that split 

my conscience like a Bible, 

geraniums that brawled for 

her affection and to prove the soil 

wrong. I knew a sea of mediocrity, 

main street in a harsh moonlight until 

she arrived beneath a lime tree in 

the lime light all the time. (I knew bad 

mouths, I knew last meals; but I don’t 

do maudlin.) I knew the kind of 

lucky accident it’s killing me to think 

about, but never her bed’s backwoods. 
Jake Sheff

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