My bed is the loneliest river.

Madison’s asleep and ten miles away

but I swear I can hear her snoring,

little coos of clouds puffing out her nose.

She hates clouds and the sky, well I guess

I shouldn’t say hates, she just can’t handle

how the sky opens up because she can see

everything after this and she likes to stay grounded,

watching flowers and grass grow

around her body, tying her to the earth

that breathes its life and secrets

into her. She likes me on my back

while I watch the clouds unfold all the things

I need to know about death,

and learn how we’re part of something

we’re too alive to understand—

that great gig in the sky; vanilla-orange

sunset in the mountains

where we go after we die.

She holds my hand and weeps

and tells me this moment is the really real;

that the dandelion DNA spiraling towards

the blood in her veins is enough

to let her see her mother again,

but she can’t think about that now

and I don’t want her to think about it,

because she already sees death crawling over my skin,

leaving me decrepit but unshakably alive

because the clouds are in my eyes.

Their reflection illuminates me into something

beyond my skin—me, the clouds; her, the meadow.

Mostly I just see the Big in the Small,

probably that’s why the fire won’t start.

I can taste the water molecules in the wood I chopped.

It’s too wet to burn, it just smokes

out into the blue and death is all around us.

She can’t see the skull of the young falcon

we buried here last year, but I know it’s there.

Hell, I’m the one who ran it over, but it’s not like

I meant to—just driving too fast

and the peckerwood swooped down in front

of my grill and got lodged there, didn’t notice

for two days until Mason pried it off

with a stick and we dug a hole,

dropped it in the dirt, built a cairn.

I’m pretty sure consciousness

is the only thing keeping everything alive and awake,

even past death. I’m pretty sure people don’t live

or die—we just float to that great void

where we’re all a part of the same cloud.

We can call it love or we can call it home

or maybe it’s one giant crib cradling

all the newly dead and unborn.

Best to see their faces in the burn.

Tend the kindling, stoke the flames.

Completely in separate from nature.






loveAll of these poems are taken from a manuscript currently titled C O S M O N A U T. New work is upcoming or appears in Black Tongue Review, Cream City Review, Danse Macabre, Revolver, Sugar House Review, Atticus Review, Metazen, Main Street Rag, among others. Adam Love is the author of the the chapbook, Another Small Fire (Tired Hearts Press 2013). He runs the Literary Arts portion of the Utah Arts Festival. In his free time, he’s somewhere in between surfing the Pacific Ocean or exploring the mountains and western rivers of Utah.

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