Monday Poem

The Hunter

I hike up the hill at a clip
to keep this heart alive

Orion’s over my left shoulder
with arms raised always
in his almost-never-ending black
place in sky immersed in
blazing stars in utter space

Skirting single Cheryl’s
I wonder again what it is she does
in summer her shingled house
is ablaze with lilies
She works them in a goofy hat
stopping now and then to swab sweat

I watch while beyond the blue
the hunter stands with his legs apart
“I’ll live near forever,” he mocks,
and his belt-stars testify

I pick the pace up now and feel
the suck of cool air into my lungs
At the top of the hill the road’s crown
is the pate of a disturbed
menace standing, straining
beneath asphalt, bending it up

A cleat-pocked phone pole’s
draped life-line wires
disappear into the dark

An old sugar maple’s there too
its cleft bark bathed in amber sodium vapor,
bare limbs a wild, strobed lattice
moving at my pace as I pass

While the hunter in the background,
knees ever sprung for action
perseverates for years and years,
I whistle past the graveyard popping Lipitor

by Jim Culleny
Odder Still
Lena’s basement Press, 2015