Jolted back into this life by the fevered scratching
above acres of corn, whip of plasma

that cracks the air in half, I stumble
down the bike trail in the dark,

two miles from home with only this jagged flash
to guide me. No moon. Not even the crumpled fire

of the stars. Only the sky roiling violent,
the bolt searing the landscape until it glows

like an x-ray, like the breath of ghosts
I can’t see, like the world splitting open

to show at last its raw, intimate core.




Kirk Schlueter received his MFA in poetry at Southern Illinois-University Carbondale. His poetry has been a finalist for the Rattle Prize, the Indiana Review Poetry Prize and the Yemassee Prize. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Rattle, Nimrod, Ninth Letter, Natural Bridge, Green Mountains Review, Zone 3, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Connotation Press, and Gulf Stream among others. He has been awarded a full scholarship to the NYS Summer Writers Institute, and has been part of the Hungry Young Poets Reading Series. He currently lives, teaches, and writes in St. Louis.