My Neck of the Woods by Jerrod Schwarz


wears a choker made of alligator ribs
and mud and dad’s bootprint. 

My sky-head wobbles between humid bliss
and wet trauma; the sun-mouth whispers
look at you two repairing a chicken coup, 
the thunder-tongue begs to know
why do you sleep in two different houses?

I have never seen my shoulders,
but when I dig for dinosaur bones
the dirt sticks and cools like snow;
maybe I am sharpening the peaks
of two buried mountains, maybe I am
standing on top of the first history.

My hands are every pair
of Sandhill cranes who cannot find
their child. Dad tells me that our pigs
will eat anything, and I have seen cranes
prune themselves in the food trough;

a baby beak digested, a baby beak mixing
with rain water, with groundwater, a baby beak
slurped down an aquifer, down a magma vein,
and a burnt molecule of baby beak tickles

my feet: a mottle of blue-hot skin
shaped like the earth’s core. I am
always dancing near the safety
of perfect gravity,

but I cannot let go of the weekends
spent killing cows behind the barn; 

of dad telling me
how to cut off the hooves, 
of dad smiling
when I don’t even gag. 

Jerrod Schwarz is an MFA graduate from the University of Tampa. His work has appeared in Entropy,  PANK, The Fem, Opposum Lit, and many others. Besides the standard info above, Jerrod is obsessed with anime, is a new father of 6 month old twin daughters, and is in a constant love/hate relationship with his sunny, Floridian climate.

Elijah Tubbs