Jeffrey Tucker

Tread on Me II / Louis Staeble

After Jay Hopler

Today was a day like a mountain rising,
which is to say a day
like a Main Street Fourth of July firework
climbing a blank sky
or rather
consider the plum blossoms flinging
themselves off purple-barked boughs in white-lighted
stamens, reaching out like moon jellyfish
beached at a changing tide
and consider it: the James River shifting tides at night,
backward brackish flow mudding reeds
to a daily drowning, filling crab-dug potholes,
sky-bound bubbles fleeing scalloped clay
beds, water bearing
hard at tin shore shacks glinting a bloody rust
through fog-filtered sun.
The city wants them razed. Can I buy one?
Consider me years hence,
the lone holdout staring down tractor
and backhoe with salt-loaded shotgun,
my purpose long forgotten and overspent
but I’d still take aim and cock.

Jeffrey Tucker's first full-length collection of poetry, Kill February, was recently selected as the winner of Sage Hill Press’ Powder Horn Prize and is now in print. His poetry has also appeared (or will appear) in RHINO, Poetry South, The Cape Rock, and elsewhere.