The 2River View 22.1 (Fall 2017)

Matt Mason


We build cities;
we pretend the plains
and aquifers are not
here; there is no farm
with its brown windmill, this
is Dodge Street, O Street, Second and Main;
we put up skyscrapers
so the snow won’t fall on us,
we wagon train motels and grocery stores and bars and grills

so the wind can’t feel for the cracks in our coats,
so we don’t know
where that dead deer came from, tongue out, next to 30th Street, what
that skunk-like smell is, who
brought these hummingbirds and turkey vultures, as,
no, a barred owl didn’t make that sound,
that’s not a real tumbleweed, no,
I don’t know how
your allergies are so explosive this morning, why
would you think that was

Where There Are Storms

where there are storms
where there is rain
where lightning cracks the sky

where wind sweeps its broom
across the fields
across your faces

where clouds move like mice
you know it’s not where they tell you to stand
outside the dark bathroom or cold smell of basement

but there you lean
forward into the window
like a TV screen

showing a horizon
ripped by soft
sharp hands

Matt Mason has a Pushcart Prize and two Nebraska Book Awards. He has organized poetry programming for the State Department in Nepal, Botswana, Romania, and Belarus, but lives in Omaha, Nebraska, with his wife and two daughters. P&W Profile

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