dawn at various states
i’m learning the mornings / of various midwest states / and the way each pre-dawn / colors the crust softly / like the slow boil of lobster pot / and i don’t realize / i’ve stopped breathing / until i’m choking / on negative space and cornfields // for the first time in my life / i remain gloriously still / in the absence of an engine burning / and listen with eyes closed / as i read a love letter / to my body // it will start with the horizon’s curve / into oblivion / and it will end / with the universe’s unquenchable craving / toward newness // i wonder / if i can remember / the way i screeched / and jumped / from the peak of the swing’s arc / landing in the sand / face down / not once will i mention flesh on bone / because who the fuck cares about that / except against their better judgment // when i promise i’m smart / i always mean against my better judgment // i’ll write about the holiness of liminality / how my touch remains / but light and saccharinity / of the moments before waking / that same still golden pink that scalds / morning drivers and fills / the space between two open palms / afraid to touch // we’re in the birthplace of audacity / of blinding human breath / tearing the leaves from the trees / in fistfuls / just to have confetti spill / on our skin / squatting bare-ass / on the strip of cement beside the highway / to pee / bending in prayer / to sip at the riverbed / when our water runs out // i’m not sure who / first condemned hedonism / but there is something miraculous / in sheer pleasure / remind me of the wonder / that undergirds insanity / in bliss / and in beauty / and in the bliss / of beauty / before winter strips / the world naked / shaking / and in the beautiful wondrous bliss / of transformation // to criminalize pleasure is to condemn life itself / for what are we / but hungry / and horny / and hoping / for one more / morning hungover / still bloated / with the sublimity of presence / which only remains / unadulterated sensation in the face / of decay // i’ll sit calmly / as the car rolls backwards in neutral / down the gravel driveway / towards a turned over recycling bin / reversing the hour of the sky // somewhere in the hereness between then and there / lives the simplest miracles / and so i’ve learned to drive / with the windows down / and let the air curl inward // that’s why i prefer cold weather / my breath in the air / proof / of my onward heart’s diligence / a simple miracle in the prairie lands // listen to me / sing softly / the dialect of our laughter in water / like tidal forces / bound by the moon / wade barefoot / jeans rolled up / into the river //
Makenna Dykstra (she/her) currently writes, reads, and scours for bagels in New Orleans, LA. Her poetry has been featured in Anti-Heroin Chic, Sledgehammer Lit, and The Madrigal Press, among others. Her roommate recently remarked that she's never met someone who loves sunsets as much as Makenna, which can be interpreted in various ways, depending on the day. She can be found on Twitter @makdykstra.