The Fireweed Year

BY A.E. Talbot

Everything has a steeple in Vermont:
the libraries and barns,
hillocks and boulders—
a bell at the heart of it all.

Driving through, I could abandon
my car, build a cabin, and marry you
right there on the side of the road
(I who am not a builder, not ready

to marry). I wouldn’t waste a backwards
glance on the flotsam of single gloves,
extra spoons, maps of places
I’ve memorized, that once were new

and seemed to fill me. Here, the fields
pool below the wooded mountains.
Clapboard houses spread their porches
below the mountains running

with raw milk and unrefined honey.
We abstain from preservatives, knowing
the real thing can’t be saved back
but in two years we’ll freeze stiff on the line.

You’ll stop showing me the tiny flowers
you find, I won’t dig out the field guide
to learn their names. I’ll move
to a Pottery Barn apartment, try every brand

of the artificial perfumes you hate:
Moonlight Walk, Wandering Stream,
Frontier Spirit, and once, 
as a test, Jubilant Rose.


A.E. Talbot is an MFA candidate at Ohio State who reads submissions for The Journal and Off the Coast. She has published nonfiction in Mid-American Review and poetry in Barking Sycamores.