What have we crumpled and tossed
into the trashcan across the blacktop
if not decades of forfeited days
and those broken-feathered
regrets pinned under glass. Groaning,
incapable of elegance, still I long
to be those undulating grains by
the roadside in the great between.
Crows caw out of sight as I pump
gas and watch your hair blowing
in the angled light. Sing me your
favorite birdsong. Whisper the cloud’s
name. Tomorrow we’ll dream in Iowa
of corn that is not just corn, but
the emblem of that junction between
innovation and form, function and all
that blisters under the sun’s unforgiving
eye. I want to infiltrate each kernel,
peer through the veiled yellow-white,
recover sweetness, flatten the curve.
Robert Okaji is a displaced Texan seeking work in Indiana. He once owned a bookstore, served as a university administrator, and most recently bagged groceries for a living. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in As Above So Below, Slippery Elm, Atlanta Review, Vox Populi and elsewhere.