Tony Burfield

I can no longer feel strongly about the swamps of the earth.
I'm not a man anymore. The sun reddened my skin,
Reddleman; I am a Hardian reddleman, lobster-sick
and burnt.

The spider webs and leaves sag in humidity, weaves and leaflets drooping.
I rush by and my breath doesn't touch them.
Moss grows everywhere, in root caves, on deep pines, below hemlocks,
Even on the sandstone beneath.
But my Moss-man dried in my hands, crumbled even with damp air.
Canker even cracks on me, even disease
Dries on my lips, death has no hold, I am non-dead,
Illicit, and bony.

My friends all drip, thrive wet, are slippery at least,
And their moss shrivels from my glance.
But still I see the prittle light crawl through the needles,
Filling the deciduous plump with shining damp.
And I crave these wonders in and out
Of wetland.

Ten Minutes

There's a ten minute army beyond this fence,
Assembled like my matted hair after baptism.
It's the ten minute war.

It's ten dead women, crucifixal.
I'm the middle bitch, the spearman,
The thief and liar.

And ten snats latch on for my walk
To Galilee and my horizontal body-
Roll down the hung Christ hill, hunged.

Ten grass stains on my knees
Ten bruises on my hips
Ten drops of spittle from my lips

At the bottom of the hill
It's the ten minute army behind the fence,
Judging the judges in Galilee.