Mudlark No. 47 (2012)

Wheeling into Crisco

The suspension across and of the line extended rubbering into the Great Blank beyond.
Arroyos, and pound cake conjurers, the white clay beds that wade into red, it’s a ghost
of a chance and gone. When it’s time for you to cross the river a single horn will sound,
a pair of half-there buckets balanced in a yoke as you stumble across a rock salt passway. 

There will be voices stammering blue with low clouds off in barter and a stick of moon
just so you know, cliff face, and seism — this is the spread that’s left you: fifteen cards
and a rail cow into town. Sidestepping a dirt spall and a bridge of pitched boards, one 
beat for what was, once, a way of dodging the shit list of the sun before the hook dogs

wheeled into Crisco, shot teeth piping shadows and glazed baked bones, it’s nothing if
not an entrance, dusted with coal spray and categorical as a Friday night hot claw social, 
remember, and make a little room for more. Any water here, is as the water there, but
it’s different, even with the rain, a rain that when it does come is more like kick sparks

chipping away at a tuck of mica than it is water if it was ever water at all. We leap when 
we need to leap, we shuck when the crow says shuck, it’s simple: there are mountains 
you can only see once you’ve been jailed down inside a mountain, with a damp smear
of saffroned smoke that’ll gap into rolling before you can think to cadge a drink, that’s

its angle, quickened, and clean like a midnight thunderclap out shaking the base hills 
beyond old blame. You are close to the last still standing, you are even closer to a tree,
no more hook dogs and no more rain, in jumping is in the option seized, bent, molded
to what you thought you knew, better, except in the end it’s empty and you are only air.

Jeffrey Little | Khalid, Lifted of Sleep
Contents | Mudlark No. 47 (2012)