Saturday morning. The crows and jays
are staking their territories,
those noisy narcissists,
from their perches in the mossy elms.
The grass ignores them.
It has never heard of advertising.
I want to build something
durable and exact
but I am so lazy. I watch
the coffee foam dissipate and wonder
at the wasp’s meticulous ambition,
how the bee inspects each purple bell.
You are still dreaming your metaphors
while I scribble and revise
with a superhero pencil
Carlos gave me a year ago.
He wanted me to teach in East Harlem
but I am not good at despair.
You are full of energy and plans,
your mind a spreadsheet of tasks.
But that trench in the mud
is one I dug, red-knuckled,
while you called from the other side,
Come here. Come here.
Matthew Ulland’s poems, stories, and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Prairie Schooner, MiPOesias, Illuminations, The Inquisitive Eater: New School Food, Coe Review, The Meadowland Review, Border Crossing, LIT, caesura, Hanging Loose, The Rusty Nail, and other journals. He is the author of the chapbook, The Sound in the Corn, and of the novel, The Broken World.