That’s not smog sitting on the lake
But smoke blown south from the fires
In Saskatchewan. The sky never asks
Our opinion and yet we charge all manner
Of missive through it, casual as the first
Man (surely it was “man”) who cried
“This is mine” or the man who believed him.
I do not know whose smoke-curtain
This is, falling now to subdue,
Pressing down over humming
Flesh and interaction.
But I think my chest is a pocket of sky –
Slow, heart. Speed, up and up.
Find. Cadence, frequency at which to
Resist, enclosure. Oppose motion.
Suspend of ever-maddening.
Frenzy, maddening for want of
Space, volatility implied by the threat of
Expiration. The nothing-and-every-
thing-to-lose. As we turn down to sleep
The nocturnal crowds in bushes and
Trees play from where we have paused.
A gnat traps himself in my left ear.
Options – drone, hum, buzz – expire.
Zoë Hitzig is an American poet living in Cambridge.
This article appears in the 25 Oct 2016 issue of the New Statesman, American Rage