MICHELLE MATTHEES

Progress

Like a fire road with its red sign
line breaks are out of date. You’re on

one now. Feel that decay. The muscles are slack
in the lumberjack’s back. Oh but

I’ve pointed with words
in the out of the way town’s café

with my blue eyes and disintegrating Carharts.
Oh yes, I’ll say,

it’s precious this progress
between birth and death’s

sunny and clean split.
We used to get paid for this

Robert and I, splitting wood. Hauling
coal even, folding the wilderness back

for her teacups’ brittle little
screaming handles.

[BIO]: Michelle is a graduate of the University of Minnesota’s MFA program in Creative Writing and has recently completed a book-length collection of poems.

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