After the Dig

posted Jun 21, 2016

After the dig, we feel the earth acutely. Our arms reverberate.
We twang for days. At night, we dream we are still digging.
We wake exhausted. We've been shoveling the dark, and the
stars weigh a ton. In the mornings, our muscles knot in
sympathy with our dreams. We drag ourselves to the shower.
We find dirt in our teeth.

I'm sorry I missed you, I was searching. I was part of the
party. We had flashlights and helicopter coverage. We used
our best radio voices. When we found her, there were hugs
and cake but also there was so much time. The day emptied
out in front of me. My hands needed a flashlight or a GPS
device. My throat wanted a name to call out. That night, I
went back, I was searching. I needed a mission, something to
find. I was in the woods, and I let in the dark. I felt it burrow
into my skin. I took it with me. I took it home.

After the ocean, we feel the land travel through us.
Something was stoppered, and then unstoppered. We throw a
dock party. We eat watermelon and fresh berries. Someone
gets a seahorse tattoo. Someone blasts "Born in the U.S.A."
We feel drunk on our land legs. When we dance, it feels like
we've never moved before. Later, the earth realigns and loses
its strangeness. We feel a little empty. If we're honest, we feel
a little thankful.

I'm sorry I missed you, time lost track of me. I was sitting on
the train. I had lives and then more lives. Today was a
window and I saw straight through it. Tomorrow would
come, and I could just sit still. Time ran above me and beside
me but also through me, and I had it all figured it out. I don't
feel this way often. You know I'm always searching. My head
lamp on. Boots to the ground. I'll make things right
tomorrow. It felt so good to stop.

After the phone call, we don't know how to fix things. We
offer solutions anyway. We throw them on the table and let
them grow cold. We can't look our failures in the eye. We feel
useless and then we feel worse about it. We hold hands and
feel a little comfort. We say we'll go out for a drive. We'll pick
up ice cream. We'll make an airship from this lead balloon.

I'm sorry I was late, I was at the river. I was listening to no
one. I was making time. How long before bottle glass
becomes beautiful? I am gathering water and salt. I am asking
my questions into this wet, rushing thing. Don't they call it a
confluence, when rivers meet? What about saliva? What
about blood?

After the rain, we feel a little better. But I wouldn't say clean.
I wouldn't go that far. What we feel is a small rising up in the
lungs. A minor adjustment. Like there are possibilities, and
we might have our pick. Like something is coming, and it's
good, and we'll hold it and press it to our chests and feel
some wonder there.

I'm sorry I was late, I was on the highway. I was counting exit
signs and trying to add them up to something to tell you.
There are so many ways off the highway. People live there.
We don't, and I don't know how I feel about that. I think I
feel a little cheated. I want to knock on all those doors and
look inside. This one has a big bay window. This one has a
turret. All those houses, and we're not there. Let's go there.
All those garden plots. All those backyards rolling down to

Kit Frick is the author of two chapbooks: Echo, Echo, Light (winner of the Slope Editions Chapbook Contest, 2013) and Kill Your Darlings, Clementine (Rye House Press, 2013). She studied poetry at Sarah Lawrence College and received her MFA from Syracuse University, where she served as poetry editor for Salt Hill Journal. Kit is a Senior Editor at Black Lawrence Press, where she edits the nationally distributed chapbook series, and is the Founding Editor of Copper Lantern Studio, a private editorial practice. Her poems have recently appeared in places like Crazyhorse, DIAGRAM, Conduit, CutBank, Sixth Finch, and Forklift, Ohio, and have been featured on Verse Daily.

Kit lives in Brooklyn with her husband and lives online at Kit also writes fiction for young adults and is represented by Erin Harris at Folio/Folio Jr.