Poetry: “sudden prayer for the squirrel on the powerline” by B.J. Best

sizzling acrobat, you try the wire
from pine to pine. potential flashforward,
your claws cut like scimitars across the line

yet you know nothing of capacitors, of relays
and dynamos, or how we use dinosaurs’ bones
to make our debauched suns glow.

but you know about flux and resistance:
the lean of a limb, the arc of a leap,
the force to pry an acorn from its cap.

I want to know what it’s like to walk
along the electric-white finger of god;
I want to suck the creosote from the pole

that sprung like a railroad tie at the edge
of the yard, an eiffel tower of light,
the hum that stifles all cries.

squirrel, I like how you close all the circuits,
tying the juice into irreconcilable knots of twine,
as easily as I can call god a liar,

as easily as I drink this glass of wine.


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