kerr county

Patrick Kurth
Featured image: Stone lichen © Jennifer Weigel 2019


after varda


a pale hand brailles a picket of rushes ,
the flood meant plenty of ––––– what , really ?
rustle tells naught but the mud’s hard and fetid , read
jaguar spots in railtie rot across the ferric steppe

devils needle every step
stumbles bury anger’s marrow ,
angled ballast for the wash-out
in a carmine pebble bed

tender gaze , glaze over
round sleep of ether
ekes out escher
splitting up the dike

who’s leaving town like a pan-handling ghost ?
whose yellow belly mill-stoned the wind ?
kerr county was once wine country
‘fore the word got out
a vagabond distends
on the dark want of more

and buckles , venomed ,
in a rut dug for riches

a pumpjack has plumbed
every inch of the acre

the faulted land’s too parched
to swallow so much