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I died amongst the wheatfields

Ryan Trostle

It was clear, unmoving, and biting

That night of culling, of quiet, of nothing–

The grange a dark mountain pool.

A hawk’s call-

Wind rushed me shaped like a wolf

Ready to act, with the noises and pants

And footfalls of objective brutality

Heard out of the corner of the ear.

I turned                             but nothing.

The crouching claws hid behind the stillness

Of prone danger, the silent shrike’s prelude,

Eyes pooled in the white liquor

of future

That comes to them

As easy as tears.


“You’ve learned to live in a cage,”

  The teeth breathed.


What did I have to protect me

That didn’t keep me trapped?

I could not keep with the laws here–

My fangs too dull, too calculating.

I      parted     the crop, running from the slinking forms

Of mist, marrow, indiscriminate aurora–

They seethe in every reed,

Stalk over the mud,

And to arrowheads their shining mirrors dilate.


At the edge of the sky

I was led to the maze of black instinct’s end,

Where the eyes pierced

In a    curtain    of cold stars.

They were at    the end.

This was always    the end.

They never betrayed the silence

Begetting them, harboring their hunt.

I was only following, not fleeing–

Feeding, not winning–

Jacklights on the weary deer,

Nature never fails

In a battle decided

Before the rage of fear.


In the moonlight, silver blood dried

“This is all you are”

Amongst the wheatfields, I died.

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