The Slow-Cooked Sentence

A weather forecast calls for reduction of cloud, mushroom

Rachael Conlin Levy

Cloud, 2009.

Today it’s this: A walking poem, a wool scarf, a sky of diaphanous blue. It’s a bent head as eyes scan stiff grass and cold earth for mushrooms. It’s a cupped hand that carries home tufts of fireweed seed. It’s snow on Mount Olympus. It’s argument, strong coffee, friendship across continents, aching back, spastic gut, and the angle of a shoulder blade, hunched and hurt. My friend called me the A-word, my child says when asked about school. Respond with a plate of buttered toast, ibuprofen, wine. Days that begin with translucence and bird aria end in Guterson’s unstoppable coming darkness. This is remembered by the student of metered line and meteor, but, somehow, not by me. From the fridge I pull a damp and torn paper bag filled with mushrooms that spill onto the counter. Some wild mushrooms turn a bruised blue when cut, I tell my child. Chanterelle, lobster, lion’s mane, and oyster are cold and moist, tender as tomorrow’s promised clouds.

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