Repastoral

by Brad Trumpheller

a man plants another mans skull
in the grass & thats how we arrive
at religion. crab apple ritual rights
of passage. like any good weed
god winds up our spines like yarn.
cotton-lined coffin. spindle litany.
like any good crop god has roots
in man wanting profit. the dead
good for nothing but their seed
& estates. our plot of earth. this
box built to rot in. this past passed
down to us through dialects & dirt.
whats tradition but calcified chaff
cut & counted as capital. whats
capital if not a bone torqued
towards her own bone-red light.
according to stories all the men
in our family came back from war
& buried their dog tags in the same
land they would later be laid beneath.
i have nothing to say about that.

these trees grieving so materially;
these leaves weeping in their seasons

Brad Trumpfheller is a poet and bookseller from the South. Their work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Poetry, jubliat, Washington Square Review, The Nation, and elsewhere. They co-edit Divedapper, and currently live outside of Boston. Their chapbook, Reconstructions, will be out from Sibling Rivalry Press next year.