On Rage and Begetting | Anne Brettell
Anne Brettell grew up reading dystopian science fiction in Winfield, Kansas. She holds an MFA from the University of Alabama, where she served as poetry editor for the Black Warrior Review. You can find her work in Midwestern Gothic, The Golden Key, and elsewhere.
Max : Day 1
The mechanical baby laments
the empty highways. The blades of
farm machinery have stopped humming
in his ears. He stretches his arm toward
the tree-line and pretends that the fields are his.
The fields are waiting for the brush of metal
fingers through the rows of new green shoots.
A calf has collapsed in the summer heat.
A bird circles the dead and blocks the sun from his face.
He wishes the flies would bother him, too.
The shoo—shooing of cow tails in springtime,
udders raw from the work of milk. He is
the work of fire, of strangers thinking
to the soundtrack of dirt roads, cotton flying,
and stubbled wheat. Nothing
can sing as loud as the weathervane caught
in the jealousy of topsoil and dreaming.