There is a dial tone in the mirror. In a single room,
blue invents a forest, and when the light arrives,
it arrives like milk, without origin—white rain
erasing fliers on a phone-pole.
Milk is the ranger, transducted
through the forest’s million acres,
emerging on the other side
as a pencil. Milk is a bookmark.
Milk reminds you of the sound foreign coins
make in your pocket, and gladly, you are near.
Milk has a weight in the mouth like a tuba
has in the ear, and the chest which is
the ear’s private amphitheater.
The moonlit pond seems to tremble with Dalmatians—
trampled cattails make angle brackets of the grass coming on.
Milk is a path of light for the boat, ice, resting on a pillow,
well beyond an early morning commute,
and milk’s apology for coffee. In my waking life,
I’m a spy for the previous one. Like the ranger,
I grow homesick, and to a fine point in a chronicle, reduced.
Alec Hershman lives in Michigan where he teaches literature and writing to college students. He has received awards from the KHN Center for the Arts, The Jentel Foundation, The St. Louis Regional Arts Commission, and The Institute for Sustainable Living, Art, and Natural Design. You can learn more and find links to his work online at alechershmanpoetry.com.