Brandon Shimoda

She Dreams of Slugs

The sky was ambitiously flat. I was taken aback
by the cast of candlelight; a slope of goats behind the nursery,
determinate: that when she yawned, I turned violently away
from the laborious footing extended beneath, waiting to dredge the soil:
never able to make it up the stairs to her own bed. Rosemary

bread or cydonia oblonga; watch them evolve as animals, prune
themselves of suckers, there next to me – though she had evaporated:
fork-toothed ookow proxy for her mild effeminacy, reading the lines
tensed within the construction of soil; we bridged, beauty bent
on the feeling of wasted time: I had callused of standing there

next to her: communicating through marbled conditions
of elephant garlic, cloves mashed and/or countries surveyed
at unnerving angles; a cucumber beetle flew close to my nose
and then flew away, a pinecone dropped from one of the trees
like a heavy earring, the air was light with pollen. Watch them run

towards the sun, their long legs moving like blades of grass
in the wind. We stood next to each other
in between two rows, about one celery plant to every six or seven
of beans: I woke early in the morning, feeling
as though I should’ve been watering them; she punctuated the air

with a strong inhalation, bringing her right foot down
on an innocent stretch. I had in my head to ask her
if she knew where the hose was; wrested away from organic,
or similarly complicated hokum; dressed; the dirt under her fingernails
spilled into tiny piles on the cushions. Maybe she loved the image

of running around with herself: though she disliked onions,
as do all of the twining varieties: flagrantly impervious
to sound, its own: as if she was a river. Of it, the Douglas firs shook
the chills from the air. Watch them collect into masses; irregularly
round: apple-eyed like that, meaning mildewed, that powdering

in slightly different directions whenever she yawned: disconcerting
glare: I stopped listening, living among bales of straw: the idea of black
cap raspberries, millions upon millions of Rubus,
or are they mollusks: plump to long and translucent, a dulling imperception:
unctuous trumpeting. I lost my balance. There was no wind.

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