Because nothing else can contain it:
let the paint peel
from the elementary school
and the cicadas multiply
then divide, their bodies rain like pellets
into the corners of the concrete playground.
Let evening take it—
no orange lights flicker on,
the booby-trapped woods by the church
spit out their ropes and fill in their hidden holes.
West, the Tualatin mountains watch,
dark except for the abandoned glass mansion
beaming back the low light,
playing at moon. Let water rise
over the bottomlands,
pooling around the lamps of daffodils,
joists of houses, cracked garden hoses.
Raccoons move uphill
to the gym; mountain lions swim
the swollen channel and head
for the star-pines straddling the ridge.
Only oaks sneak saplings through the chainlink
as the edges of the track
slowly slip into current.
Anna Tomlinson grew up on Sauvie Island, Oregon and now lives in Salt Lake City. She recently finished her MFA at the University of Virginia, where she taught poetry, first year writing, and summer transition classes. Her poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in The Adroit Journal, Frontier Poetry, Salt Hill Journal, Tupelo Quarterly, Cimarron Review, Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review, and minnesota review, among others.