He crows to prepare our yards with his presence,
and he orders the space between us. He stands it up straight.
Inside his own sound, he is the world itself, not of it.
He populates our yards with an audience of ears.
He things me. He wrings out the quiet.
He expands, then compresses, the space in my head,
which is forced now to contain too much that’s unwanted.
And why is it necessary, anyway, all this commentary,
since it offers neither substance nor humor nor good description?
It’s about throwing a shadow over the otherness.
It’s about dominion and volume. And nothing, but nothing,
surprises the cock, since he lets nothing in.
He is a poet of the worst sort. I want to know where it was
that he once was hatched and stood shivering
in his dandelion fluff, full of wonder, doubt, and deliberation,
bits of his broken home still stuck to his shank, his sex
indeterminate, not a pinkening ridge or a bump or a bud
to indicate what would be what.
Julie Hanson’s second collection, The Audible and the Evident, won the Hollis Summers Poetry Prize and was released in unintended synchrony with the spread of the coronavirus across the United States. Her first collection, Unbeknownst won the Iowa Poetry Prize and was a finalist for the 2012 Kate Tufts Discovery Award. Hanson’s poetry has earned fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Vermont Studio Center and recent or forthcoming publication in Smartish Pace, New Ohio Review, Under a Warm Green Linden, failbetter.com, Plume, Bat City Review, and Copper Nickel.