Our Last Scene Will Take Place Somewhere in The Dakotas
So frequently a sound of wind interrupts the part
where I should be gone from the scene. I want you
to imagine a ledge, then the stampede, the country
western where a buffalo calf lies felled, its small
teeth you could hide inside your pockets for so long.
This is what I remember: you opened a fire by packing
the kindling in your hand, taking me with your other.
Beans boiled. I wanted it to be real dirt beneath me.
There is a privacy in tomorrow I can’t stand.
I wanted to write you a love poem, horses pounding
dust into a scent fit for memory, their twitching haunches,
the black flies whirring like a drunk’s empty tears.
There should have been a sky darkening onto you
like a kingdom, the sun half-thought to be extinct
by the time you remember it there. A horizon line
cut into, there’d have been stars. Why did you believe me.
Natalie Eilbert received her MFA from Columbia University, where she was awarded the Linda Corrente Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Tin House, Guernica, West Branch, Colorado Review, Spinning Jenny, Sixth Finch, Greying Ghost Pamphlet Series, The Paris-American, Linebreak, and elsewhere. She is a founding editor of The Atlas Review, is working on her first poetry collection, and lives in Brooklyn.