Aubade Between Two Counties by Kat Neis

The stream moves uneasily after run-off shines
with pollution as we make our way to the edge, touch palm
to mud      the 6am saw-toothed moon above—
by now I know everyone is waiting for something:
a man I once tried to love stands in the almost dawn glow
thinking I will return.           A girl I saw get hit by a car
is forever my shadow as I cross the street at Clark & Lake      she died
instantly           like my uncle at 55           who now stands on that same street corner
illuminated by the blue of the mailbox chain-smoking without end
hands in his pockets, face like mine: watching everything going nowhere at all.
In Allegan, the frogs die leathery on the water’s edge
and we’ll grieve them later, maybe, if there’s time—
did they dream of a world
without poison like the rest of us?      The gullies         burning orange
the brittle legs of a heron moving over the water—
        how her beak strikes the surface
& sends everything scattering

Kat Neis is a poet and writer from Grand Rapids, Michigan. She is the co-founder of Siblíní Journal, a magazine for young luminaries. She lives in Chicago.