Martin Stolen
Adrift or Beetle and Cedar on the Farm

papa's suits are hanging above his cedar chest
the vest-black silk is smooth,
the mole hair cat's-tongue a small corrosive on my cheek
  below, inside, the chest is an oven of smells
  wind-drifted bits of red iron
  mote rust in the dry heat of the hayloft air

my cheek hovers above the cured pine of the front porch rail
my nose following an imaginary line where a blackgreen beetle
has just passed
  his beetle-back must have smelled of
  earth under leaves
  three days after a storm, another coming
  stark and cold and moldy
  in the dwindling day

when god calls down the flood again,
I'll hear the rain against the windows
and empty out the chest
and invite the front porch beetle
to ride with me,
in a vessel impromptu,
upon the waves
  he'll stand upon my shoulder, six legs straining taut
  his nose turned skyward from the reek of cedar

after all the clouds have cleared away,
we'll bitch about our fathers
(our nostrils rimmed with salt)
and laugh up towards the burning sun

the fence-posts, the mailbox, the rafters of the barn
all submerged below
nibbled,
all,
by creatures of the sea