Nothing Says This Is the End of the Poem

stop off some miles after the WY border stand over Tongue River
full body of a deer spread like jam there is so little happening
in this moment here but for you? for anybody? stand in Dec’s
mouth feel the air shift & in the next few hrs Orion will pass over
the peaks & then Venus’ light will sift down the far side

now so many geese in the field long tan stretch toward the divide
stars finally through the fog a real ________ winter rush from cars
nothing else for miles all still but the slow creep of our species
look for change not truth snow on the foothills like O’Keefe
steely thrust of earth as though I am above the abbey & the mtns
shout REST or perhaps I’ve already come to the long hush &
the mtns are quiet or the mtns are just mtns but if winter
weren’t bad why write at all? why write steely thrust? no no
go back to it foothills like O’Keefe a real ________ winter
steely thrust gather some scraps of thought & feeling into the oven
w/ them into the oven w/ us o fallow pathways ignite! hurry quick!
for my father will recede into the black hole of my mind & yours

maybe gravity will hit us somewhere in the atmosphere & somehow
loss will arouse us perhaps I can still be excited by this life maybe
a need will arise in me to continue living some of this will be true
some of it after all I am still young enough to try a little of everything
aren’t I after all the racket upstairs entitled to a little rest?
why even bother asking in this poem where I mostly talk about
taking the reins finally for once when I know it is a lie about
how I will eat the honey the sweat of life how no one will understand
digger & grave like I will no one will take fruit & suck the pit like I
will & nothing says this is the end of the poem quite like death

E. J. Cousins lives, teaches, and writes in Denver, CO. Their poems have appeared in, or are forthcoming from, Denver Quarterly, The Laurel Review, Copper Nickel, Hobart, The Collapsar, and elsewhere.