Zoe Boyer was raised in Evanston, Illinois on the shore of Lake Michigan, and now lives among the pines in Prescott, Arizona, where she completed her MA in creative writing. Her work has appeared in such publications as The New York Times, Canary, The Hopper, Poetry South, Kelp Journal, and Plainsongs.
The Longest Winter
Grey lingers like a bruise, nothing
risen from rot, skin pulped at the
knuckles, mind soft as spoiled fruit.
Sun dammed by clouds, rain rivers
the roads, weaves into a creek
braided with whatever it can carry—
gnarled juniper roots, cactus pads
crumpled as catcher’s mitts, pine
needles thatched at the banks—
and just when it seems the land can
take no more, the wrong dam relents;
they unleash the brimming lake.
Like water I run downhill toward
where the creek has overtaken a low
bridge, road seething with rapids.
I’ve come for the spectacle of a world
remade—to see I’m not the only one
storms have roughed and rutted.
There are those who will tell you
life gives no more than you can take,
but show me someone satisfied
with a slow rise, creek kissing the
road’s lip; someone who doesn’t
want to see water breach the bridge,
defy everything made to contain it—
caution signs heaved on sinews of
wave, what you thought was solid
giving way—who doesn’t thrill at
the rush of too much, and why
should life want any less of us?