Depth Hoar Nightfall hot and edgy; Emily at an angle of repose, down to damp tick, watching edging on the windows, craving wind. A triple meter plays in the parlor; floors screak as Catch crosses to the player's needle set at edge again, viola and crackling. Insisting on sinking eyes, and finally, a slab of snow where wall would be, a widening crack in the slope prior to avalanche Any Surface on the Same PlaneYou're Catch's little girl somewhere sighs from stoops, and keys are clacking; trigger-sound. I lift my skirts to dash past no gold letters but signs instead for Poultry Exotics and Frozen Grapes and Do Not Drive Into Smoke. Now galloping past Sassafras Point, through Drilland, Helnway – paper mill in place of tannery – 'till finally I am still with burlap – his snoring or the ceiling fan? Lamp black or black ivory? Muslin and twill underhand or denim like sailcloth? These various affections are an alloy detrimental to repose – skin caught on jaggers. I wake to train, draw the red moreen against Gownsville or empty mills or an outline of swell and sweep – this the coming home in raw twilight. Implements of Animal Husbandry Straw chopper, cinder block Not a bumpershoot but sheers The godevil next to crock Milking stool or surrey here Glad rags or water cups Crock and peeps, potato bins Some chestnuts, some beech nuts Croupers, springs, and star bits Bark Stacks Process marks the skin. In the leach house, hemlock bark bits and steaming water churn to tannic acid – cooling tank-turned. Shoveling bark pulp is better than shoveling cow shit. Less boiling, the bate house. Men on the wheels, tumbling hides with chicken manure to trace out the lime. Knife quick? Sent to the beam hands, nearer the beginning, process located – coverings stacked, through wash wheels, tail and hooves cut clean, and two days sunk in the vats. Now fleshings come off, slippery and scraping and stuck and stunk rotten. Finally fixed in the finishing house, feeding hides to the splitting machine or hand-stained in the coloring room, floating them on the dye. Strange continents. Former outlines. And of course, a trailing industry, bosses sealing buildings, buffalo giving out. Hills hemlock bark-stripped. Tan packs not towering.
Stephanie Anderson is the author of four chapbooks, including In the Particular Particular (winner of the 2006 DIAGRAM/New Michigan Press Chapbook Prize) and The Nightyard (winner of the 2009 Noemi Press Chapbook Prize). A full-length book, In the Key of Those Who Can No Longer Organize Their Environments, is forthcoming in Summer 2013 with Horse Less Press. She edits Projective Industries. An excerpt from her poem "Mist Nets" was also published in Two Serious Ladies.