Every leaf is spirit
in retrospect. A flower can destroy
my frontal cortex. Wrecked spring
puddles in wretched rain drop
dew spots breathe hell toward
dawn. I'm melting. I'm melting.
Molting larva crept from mud,
the muffled insect crypt. Hallowed
gravel and hallelujah screams
grovel for snow banks to forgive
trash, needles, sand, and salt.
I've severed all but taproots.
Bacteriophage gnaw regardless
of salty soils from winter roads,
inflamed by sand scrapped
I'm only trying to compost myself,
to make the most
of myself, to choose
myself despite the piles of sweat
that stain my bed.
Hall’r like a trumpet, a daffodil yawp,
a crocus beaming. I awoke with dirt
in my eyelids but you let me call it soil.
Turn me to the wind, rain, lions, fog,
lambs. I roll with integrity, under
what you've named retrospect.
Tyler Dettloff is an Anishinaabe Métis, Italian, Cherokee, and Irish writer, musician, teacher, gardener, and water protector raised on the edge of the Delirium Wilderness. He currently lives in Gnoozhekaaning (Bay Mills, Michigan) and is an English Instructor at Lake Superior State University. He also teaches creative writing at Algoma University as an adjunct. He has earned a B.S. in English and a dual track M.A. in Literature and Pedagogy from Northern Michigan University in Gitchinamebineziibing (Marquette, Michigan). Mostly, he enjoys walking along rivers with his wife Daraka and his dogs Banjo and Fiddle.