If all fear is the fear of absence,
then we have nothing to fear.
Horse apples from the pack horse,
hardtack or raisin bran,
my raison d’être, floating in milk.
That shriveled, hardened face the world made—
the hard maples gone yellow, red coats
floating up the Mystic River—
little panics, little thrills.
Morning pours its milk into the clearing
and deer walk there,
stepping as though it might tear.
Shall we step that way?
Not with hooves, with danger
on us like a pelt, the safe thing
gone, listening for its violent report?
Luke Brekke’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in New England Review, The Volta, Salt Hill Journal, and MiPOesias. He works as a coffee roaster and lives in Wisconsin.