from my notebook to stoke
the stove in the quiet. Across
the fire ring, last night, his face
had been dark. Stepping outside,
I sat among the obsolete
instruments of agriculture that hung
on the shack’s face, their rusted
abstraction. The morning was severe,
the moon at odds
with the sunrise in the same sky,
and the drinking water frozen
in its glass. At once, a coyote
appeared, circling fowl as if doting
on a lover. It was clear now, in the palm
of first light: The brush had awoken
with the graying leaves’
reckless, burning torrent
towards an indifferent
earth. What did I know?
The flames that grew inside
were ones I’d desired, coaxed
from unsuitable kindling
until they caught.
Stefania Gomez is a queer writer, teacher, and audio artist from Chicago’s South Side who received her MFA in poetry at Washington University in St. Louis in 2022. Currently teaching at the Poetry Foundation in Chicago, she has received fellowships from the Dirt Palace, Sewanee Writers Workshop, Lambda Literary, and the International Quilt Museum. Her work has appeared in the Academy of American Poets Poem-A-Day series, Annulet, The Missouri Review, The Offing, and Tupelo Quarterly.