Fast Fiction

from Leafmold — by F. Daniel Rzicznek

Dear Amanda: for you, the Flora of the Cryptic Floating Empire. Our genitals wrapped in ivy. Our nipples pinched by beanstalks. The nuptial bed is a winter field. A snow of vows. The trail cameras capture nothing. Our essence evades the motion sensors nestled among ferns. Frogs scatter, leave unborn voices swiveling the pool’s dark. Yelps of dogs and geese above the leathery underbrush are quoted, misremembered, never heard again. Pieces of them take the air. Taillights and exhaust above pachysandra. The very fact of the stars on the ceiling. The fact of cider from the mill. The fact of longing, even if it is only an hour—absence in step with presence. Green grist beneath the wheel’s omnipotent motion. Our marriage the prehistoric hawk large enough to clutch a swan in one claw. Our marriage the Styrofoam lid embedded in summer mud. The traffic has a hollow, metallic vocal—a terrible fight with gravity. A boat of feathers forgotten where the waters sank. A narrative discoloration along the reeds, up and down through beautiful years. I join my cloud of dust with yours, dear.

F. Daniel RzicznekF. Daniel Rzicznek is the author of two poetry collections, Divination Machine (Free Verse Editions/Parlor Press, 2009) and Neck of the World (Utah State University Press, 2007), as well as four chapbooks, most recently Live Feeds (Epiphany Editions, 2015). His recent poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Volt, Kenyon Review, Massachusetts Review, The Pinch, Drunken Boat, and elsewhere. Also coeditor of The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Prose Poetry: Contemporary Poets in Discussion and Practice (Rose Metal Press, 2010), Rzicznek teaches writing at Bowling Green State University in Ohio.