After

by Ryan Ragan

“How weightless words are when nothing will do.”
- Philip Levine

It does bother me that I’m the
asshole. Whether or not it’s a
perceived status, or much like
the musher’s dream, a dark and
cold run – I can’t be sure. But what
I see in faces, body language and
words is no longer beautiful. Maybe
it never was, and I’m now realizing
what the ravens have known all along.
I have withdrawn the galaxy, the sedated
bull resting in my lungs, returned
a wounded soldier, limping down
my father’s long dirt driveway
blonde in the southern sun.

Ryan Ragan is a student in the Creative Writing MFA program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. His work has appeared in various journals and is forthcoming in CutBank.