The Meadow 2014 Literary and Art Journal - page 9

Meadow 9
from
Fieldguide to the Southeastern
Idaho Phosphate District
by Jesse DeLong
[A Brief History of Urine]
Not yet knowing that phosphate is an essential component of DNA,
Hennig Brand, hunched into a ratty robe like a fat scarecrow, held a vial
of elemental phosphorus, which he’d extracted from the four-glasses-of-
wine-worth of his own urine. The things we wash ourselves of are vital
to our survival. Again, I have woken in a whiskey sweat next to you,
separating the chemicals of breath. What is it you ask me? I say when I
am comfortable. The answer will be different from the moths, those half-
birds, believing the light wants to be smudged by their love. Around us,
like ashes from a forest fire, they are falling.
Bladders burning
of vodka
& Gatorade, we
drive a part of road
that one hour
later would be
closed. Horizon light a dirty
fingerprint & we
shutter the Buick’s axil
over weeds. Not
from the bottom where it grounds,
but from the top, a billboard
brightens with smoke.
An image
of a dairy
cow—ashing into the already
dirty air. See, you say, nothing
holds how
it should.
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