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Nonetheless, I consider the Language of Windfall

natalie rice

by

I watch the snow come and go—unsure

of the difference between absent

 

             and returning. The body is always

              both at once, as is the cottonwood.

In its back—a hollow

 

snag I hadn’t noticed

until you pointed to it. The physics

 

of desire requires a falling body.

At my feet, is the peeled skin

 

of some small, wild dog. Silver twitched

and marbled, my instinct is to look up.

Buddhists would say

that underneath our ordinary lives,

                  there is a fundamental groundlessness—

 

what’s more true:

the juncos skirting waxberries

lacelike an inch above the earth, or

                 my malleable soul hovering

                 just above my head? Last windstorm,

 

a cottonwood

shattered the driveway. I saw it

 

quick and glinting. One owl rose—backwards

and then forwards—nothingness

                 is windswept and unclutched. In that darkness,

 

I let myself in.