The Summer of (Arc) 68: Michael Boughn

Doukhobor butts

~Michael Boughn

The truth is often saggy, naked, dimpled
in ways unsuspecting youths from the desert
intersect with a kind of stunned but vague
recognition that north is more direction

than most needles can tell. Is it
the condition that wreaks or the havoc
that conditions? The flames bear confusion
into the thick of alien’s sudden

illumination. Your house is then a pile
of smoking resistance—not much good
for sheltering unstable digressions, but good
for occasional announcements regarding

Ceasar’s extension’s sudden encounter
with a grizzly. Well, maybe not a grizzly
but something different, something
unconcerned with intelligible

requirements. A kind of knot beyond
not a grizzly with equally big
teeth. Refusing war while wandering
migrations loosed upon strange

lands wreathed in mist can resemble naked
truths. In the flickering light of the fire
they seem to tremble with unexpected
vigor as the whole corpus shakes across

the grain. In moments like these the best
course is often to strike a match
or stick out your thumb, but the paths
it follows lead to negotiations beyond

distressed intimacies lacking commitment
as a sign to further conflagrations
of no further signs. Renewed points
of departure reek of poppy smoke

and damp bodies, signifying nothing.
he sense of the flames dances
in alien delerium. Result
is then not a necessary condition

as if topsy-turvy itself was
as eager as ever to claim syntactical
rights in the face of imperial Cossack
resolutions. The communal but lays

waste to conceived outcomes, turning
a vast backside to the ashes of self
and others populating the market
of insatiable hungers. Nothing is hidden

in frayed intimacies of a burning
world. Out of the ashes, nothing arises
but the knowledge of ashes. No pun
can do justice to this sagging, dimpled

resistance. The deposition of the body
that remains remains without further thought
of roses, is nothing but remains of a distant
entrance scattered across mountains in coastal winds.

Michael Boughn is the author of poetry, literary essays, short stories, and young adult non-fiction. His fifth collection of poetry, Cosmographia, was a finalist for the Governor General’s Awards.

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