"A Barren Tree with a Dried Sparrow’s Nest
near a Desolate Soup of Strange Biology" by Margaret Crocker

we are going to get marcus.

 

marcus speaks in television commercials.

his speeches have become totally vintage.

“we'll be right back!”

he says,

over and over.

 

and we will.

 

after these brief messages.

 

when people get older, they talk.

people who have hated people for years

get older

and talk to the people they hate

in an agony

of confession.

 

they need to tell you everything.

 

i

will tell you everything.

 

in missouri, there is a town called rockville

which sits at the bottom of the only plinth of rock

in a wide neighborhood of prairie.

the rock is a mammoth wall

against the town,

and the town

a snivelling footnote to its very existance.

in the shadow of this rock,

upon which a pair of actual fucking eagles nest,

human things

also actually exist, if you can believe it.

trains arrive and depart.

chickens feed.

humans love and do not love.

goats and donkeys do not graze, but are fed,

as reliant upon schedules as you and i.

 

think about that,

for a moment.

 

your schedule

and a donkey's schedule

are probably the same.

 

look,

the thing is

the juxtaposition

between humans and this ever-loving rock, see?

 

the van lumbers over railroad tracks,

past bare fields

and the detritus from the one and only

rocky crag above,

as we collect marcus from his home

at the base of what was once,

surely,

a place of worship and awe.

“I'm loving it!”

he tells us

as we guide him into his seat,

one bare cliff towering above us in smooth detachment

from the fleas at its base.

we pull out of his driveway

to face the genetic engineering company

opposite the sparse settlement of rockville

and see

a barren tree

with a dried sparrow's nest

near a desolate soup

of strange biology

in the long fallow ground

between the factory

and god.