I grew into a stuffed animal who wanted

only to insert itself into the fossil record,

to test the mettle of a closeted end
of starless January. [You hurtle forward, you hold

on to someone’s waist: it’s as all scouts
know.] I was loosed in dormant sumac;

this much someone, someone else retained. When
it burns you move away

is good enough advice. [Move
advice that burns, burn off

perception of selflessness, get the regard
of a thing: deer ending

afternoon against the snow
holding on to trees, crepuscular trees,

with an almost yellow whatsit overhead.]
Here all can be reduced

to twigs lashing cheeks
as the snowmobile crests another white hill.

Let dim and distraction weave into
our scarves, shrink

our boots till we put a hood
to ice at the edge of the stream,

then drink what’s seeping up
and hope it’s clear.