According to the Farmers’ Almanac

by Sarah Bates

I saw pictures of the blue whale’s
heart and I cried. Nature is scary.
This morning I miss you because
of the sudden gunshot, a story
of wild horses piled up along
the rim waiting to die, all their
corsets of bone collecting dust
along the shores of a remote
island. What do I think of love?
The color of us dying was not sad
or unhappy; it made me unreal.
According to the Farmers’ Almanac,
now is not the time for planting.
We take shelter at a hotel in between
Navajo water and Las Vegas;
we eat fried ice cream somewhere
in between the land of little rain
and man’s desire to thrive. Everyone
wants to forget the suffering of birds.
How every mountain comes from
the mouth of an ocean. This morning
the baby whale has scratches on
its side from where it rubbed against
its mother. The night you left,
there was a telescope in the middle
of the street and all the children lined
up one after another hoping to get
a shot at the moon. Should I shout
into the gorge? Yell at the trees for not
gathering themselves? If there is fire
in the desert, it is here. If there is
a heart in the poem, it is mine.
According to the Farmers’ Almanac,
people never know what they need
until it’s given to them.

Sarah Bates has an MFA in Poetry from Northern Michigan University and currently teaches at Southern Utah University. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Diagram, Boston Review, Fugue, Zone 3, The Rumpus, Best New Poets 2017, Seneca Review, The Normal School, and Hotel Amerika, among others. Her manuscript, O-Six, was a finalist in the 2018 Saturnalia Poetry Book Prize. Her manuscript, Tender, was a finalist in the 2018 Bateau Press Chapbook contest.