Stalking the start of a poem, no invocation left
for me no love no thing left to miss & nothing
more to pack. Each earthly object tight
in boxes lifted from the liquor store
whose proprietor winked at me & said: cutting out of dodge?
Every man a wolf, I blinked, quoting Cher’s Moonstruck.
Amid bleak traffic, outside hell highway near Strawberry Plains, I see her:
dead fox on the road, intact & embering.
Great, time to interpret–
fresh diploma breathing heavy in the backseat
but I’m tired, emptied, unimaginative
what to make of all these dead foxes
& what to do with these wiles
what have they brought you us, love? Still,
I’m leaving Tennessee for good, tail
between my legs, lost, to deep Maine
far north as I could go, my animal-mirror somewhere
along the way licked-clean
then buried, but where the poem
paces on ahead pissing on everything a place where
arriving & leaving are the same
somewhere my head on your chest
I still hear you asking in your low throaty thrum
what the spaces in my poems meant they mean
if I went feral love, leave me there.
By Britt DiBartolo
Britt DiBartolo is a poet living in western North Carolina. She recently graduated with her Master’s in English literature from the University of Tennessee. Her poems have appeared in Headwaters & an anthology of emerging North Carolinian poets from Z-Publishing. She received the Carl Sandburg Award in Poetry from the University of North Carolina in 2018. Though she still has never found a four-leaf clover on her own, she remains vigilant.