“Sunlight Has Blistered the Clear-Coating on My Car’s Hood” by Jesse DeLong

from Spring 2017 Issue, Vol. 8
for other poems, see http://www.westtradereview.com/subscription.html
Jessed DeLong teaches composition and literature at Southern University. His work has appeared in Colorado Review, Mid-American Review, American Letters and Commentary, Indiana Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, and Typo, as well as the anthologies Best New Poets 2011 and Feast: Poetry and Recipes for a Full Seating at Dinner. His chapbooks, Tearings, and Other Poems and Earthwards, were released by Curly Head Press.
Sunlight has Blistered the Clear-Coating on My Car’s Hood
Piloting the lawnmower,
the neighbor maws grass
clippings, which the
egrets, white as a snow rarely
to fall in Louisiana, buoy over, circling,
swelling downward, scouring
for feed: grasshoppers, lizards,
ripe insects,
a feast.
The heat holds it at a distance, this beauty.
The mind, too, holds it in—this thrashing
of the mower, this scattering of the terrified,
this hunger & preying
of the birds. No symbol, here, this is natural. The order
(The mind makes
a distinction—four rainbow-
flared, transparent wings, a straw-like
blue body, ah, a dragonfly—& moves on.)
of nature & human culture are zero sum. See,
(Civilization makes a distinction—if we let fall
these seeds in this dirt, here, ah, wheat—
& moves on.)
sugarcanes bristle the road. & so on
the sky, blue because its humanity’s
most bearable spectrum—
of what the light looks like,
a tower of smoke
unholy. Oh, no. Oh, yes, brown & grey
& alive.