We bathe in miles of dust

by Dane Hamann —

Cracked dirt

Photo credit: Paul Robert on Unsplash


because it’s a type of hunger
that drives the small changes
in ourselves: hair of wasps,
pit-mine eyes, sapwood bones.

But what if we fill our bellies so fully
that we begin to chew the sun,
which in turn chews us
like a rough road through a rubber tire?

Will the mirror then expose
the give-and-mostly-take nature
of our bodies? There will be a time
when we no longer remember

north, south, the race to the dollop
of light at the day’s end.
It’s not that we’ve been taught
to fear nightfall, but rather

the moment when our machinery
hesitates and begins to run
in reverse. There will be a point
when the mirror tells us that,

really, we’ve been consuming
ourselves, leaving nothing except
salt-sweetened scars traced
like fragile roads across our skin.

It’s hunger that cannot be satiated
even with bright knives of open sky.
We’ll feast on gravel until we lie
scattered like fallen birds in the fields.

Dane HamannDane Hamann works as an editor for a textbook publisher in the southwest suburbs of Chicago. He received his MFA in Creative Writing from Northwestern University, where he also serves as the poetry editor of TriQuarterly. His work has recently been published in Calamus Journal, Half Mystic, Wildness, and Water~Stone Review, among other places. He can be found at www.danehamann.com.