Vermont

by G. H. Smith

Four in the morning,
refuge of moths,
moonlight’s underbelly of mist.
The woods are a misery of mud and stones,
discarded books, broken spines weeping.

You choose a rabbit’s path through the hedgerow,
mumbling incantations of erasure,
the way children who wish to remain lost
gather breadcrumbs, smooth over
the Braille of disturbed leaves.

A screen door slams once, then again.
At last the dead are sleeping.
You ask yourself what kind of mantra
stitches itself from discarded wings,
perpetually darkened chambers of the heart?

On the heels of an unfathomable dream,
you forget more than you intended,
the name, for example,
of the house on the hill
where no one, nothing awaits your return.