The field has vanished into nothing.
And the small stone we carry
in our chests is our last possession.
The horn of evening has given
way to birds, but still we write
our bodies on the grass—here
where the milkwort is dimming
orange, where the crows have lifted
themselves to disappear into
the other world. We can’t know
what the mud is saying—or the
birds singing out of their chests
by rote. But soon the moon
will appear above us like a rounded
vowel, as though even moving grass
is a kind of speech, writing with
the swaying of the wind,
with the bones we carry, something
unfinished inside our bodies.
Doug Sutton-Ramspeck’s collection, Mechanical Fireflies, was selected for the 2010 Barrow Street Press Poetry Prize and will be published in 2011. His first book, Black Tupelo Country, received the John Ciardi Prize for Poetry and was published by BkMk Press (University of Missouri-Kansas City). A third book, Possum Nocturne, was published by NorthShore Press. Hundreds of Sutton’s poems have been accepted for publication by such journals as include The Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, EPOCH, Alaska Quarterly Review, The Massachusetts Review, and Western Humanities Review. He was awarded an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award for 2009 and is director of The Writing Center, where he teaches creative writing, at The Ohio State University at Lima.