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Bret Shepard

Water Raining


Water Raining

In our backyard the window-view goes
from green to smeared translucent

too quickly today. Storm entering
the house, water drifting over shoes—

we fasten senses, prune our bodies,
and nail plywood over our eyes.

Eyes go wooden. No young
garden growth to see. Storms are chances

for mouths to batten mouths.
To be secured by skin. To be dried clean.


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Money smells us
in this house. Taking
care to not

damage our ecology
with a lacking
economy, we plant

gardens in the house.
Tomato room. Cabbage
closet. Corn basement.

Eco from the Greek
root meaning to manage
one’s household.


The architect
of our house-garden,
we set fire to fields.

Our carpets burn.
Your whisper is fire.

This stanza’s for guests.
It’s in flames. We’d rebuild
if we could.

Red plastic jugs of gas
for us to crawl into

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Bret Shepard has lived in Barrow (AK), New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.  He is currently a McPhee Fellow in the  PhD Program at the University of Nebraska, where he teaches writing. Recent poems have appeared or are forthcoming in American Letters and Commentary, Cold Mountain Review, Concho River Review, Copper Nickel, DMQ Review, Matter, and elsewhere.

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