Poem: “Triple Witching”

That’s not smog sitting on the lake . . .

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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 27 October 2016 issue of the New Statesman, American Rage

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