Behold the sun exploding over high grass,
this field, these arms raised
to that opening from which I've come.
Alligators prowl the shadows.
I will sing you a song of the blue man
in the words of our mother tongue.
This is what the willow knows.
A dog leaps out of the glare,
running in the pure fury burning
elemental in his limbs. I know
this fire, the crows stunned into flight,
the black wings expanding into light.
And I go out, sent out with a compass
and a coin for the toll, my only
orders to come back by darkness.
Douglas Cole has had worked in The Chicago Quarterly Review, Red Rock Review, and Midwest Quarterly. He has more work available online in The Adirondack Review, Salt River Review, and Avatar Review, as well as recorded stories in Bound Off and The Baltimore Review. He has published two poetry collections, Interstate through Night Ballet Press and Western Dream with Finishing Line Press, as well as a novella called Ghost with Blue Cubicle Press. He has received several awards, including the Leslie Hunt Memorial Prize in Poetry, the Best of Poetry Award from Clapboard House, First Prize in the "Picture Worth 500 Words" from Tattoo Highway; as well as an honorable mention from Glimmer Train. He was also recently the featured poet in Poetry Quarterly. He is currently on the faculty at Seattle Central College.