swing-shift ruckus

Kathleen Winter

cool mud    a cut
whose red hugs bone
where slag rock sank
through his leather
hide below an eye
all spilling out

from Larch’s bar
when their tough words
took bite to spoil
the blue kiss of
our drink   bruise each
man’s wavering

cloud of self
frog-quick to leap
hot for the throat
of him who’d doubt
its strength    say Dog

—enough to start it