Twelve Omens in Sixty Years

by Doug Ramspeck Issue: Spring 2018
We have been trying to sort the cottonwood leaves

into memories. Have been trying to disappear

inside a crow call. Is this the scrim of the night river,

the living fabric we stitch from blood and bone?

We sleep, we wake, and decades pass. And when I rise

to find you standing at the window, there is snow

beyond your shoulder, spring grass, falling leaves,

a dust devil trying to form a living shape.

Once we lived inside the throat of it, but now

our breaths are bitter with the earth, or light

as the prayers that lift like smoke then disappear.

Doug Ramspeck


Doug Ramspeck is the author of six poetry collections and one collection of short stories. His most recent book, Black Flowers, is forthcoming by LSU Press. Individual poems have appeared in journals that include The Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, Slate, and The Georgia Review. His short story collection, The Owl That Carries Us Away, is published by BkMk Press (University of Missouri-Kansas City).