Purvi Shah

Nature’s Acre POSTED

Here the roads are newly christened with names:
anonymous slab of asphalt sedimented into a label.
Every seventy-seventh tree is branded
with an echo of conversation: cattlery, no hunting,
Route 804. There is grass the orange of rusted
barnacle, a vintage migrated from some crazy
Italian painter who couldn’t replicate
the color of fire & so doused her brush wet
with cerulean into the flames. Blades
of purple fence against the green, interlocking
into a barb wire entry at nature’s neck. There are no factories, no gray smoke cracking
the air, but there is a red Taurus creeping
through the hills. There are no canned markets, preserved,
yet W.J. Carpenter’s Chicken Coop &
Crafts stakes a claim from 1888 for the fresh
kill, a live wire framing the grain encircled
into a silo, a pitcher of concrete pottery, stoneware
for a sweet evening meal. There is a calf nestling in the wheat trough,
a mother who nibbles on the plump cheeks. The Mountain View
Italian Kitchen rests next to a clan of graves, peace jutting. A train
that crawls with a Louis Armstrong rumble through
the mist — a cycloptic eye diffracting dust and danger. Air
minted green every exhale. Within the knell
of it all, mountains, hills,
mountains, mountains, hills.

Purvi Shah
“Nature’s Acre POSTED” is from Terrain Tracks (New Rivers Press, 2006), and first appeared in BlackWater Review in 2002.