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We drive through the intense sun,
and the fields listen. The dead
stand and wave, but we don’t
see them in the glow
of our optimism. The ending
is already written, but we
have not been told. And the dead
hear us. They are in no rush
to speak. They chew
on blades of grass. They lean
on the horizon, trying
to make more room on this
side. And the rain is
different, more engaged in
its touch, as if we had
already arrived. The car
rushes through
the setting light. Our past
recedes behind us like someone
else’s mistake. The rusty engine
runs in simple
engine harmony.
And the dead
don’t mind that
we drag our lives
along wherever we go,
that we are lost so deep
in ourselves
we need a car to
get out.



Self-Storage Instructions

Ice is on my side when it comes
to things that matter,

a convincing demonstration

of temporality. Ice in a glass is
a step to the next level, or a slow

slide. Confusion reigns. The tree

forms knots, not rings. Years
shrink. Thoughts grow instead

of branches. Ice in a freezer is
still fragile: many perils affect

electricity, and the fridge is about

to break, if not today, then next
year, next life. Ice, a symbol for

the cold world that crushes us—

and we must agree that being crushed is
our goal after all. Ask the iceberg

about temporality. Interrogate

the polar bear, the drowning skater. The tree
sheds its time. Its branches droop.

Its trunk is thinner and

thinner each



A. Molotkov is the winner of various poetry and fiction contests, and has work published or accepted by Kenyon Review, Iowa Review, Cincinnati Review, Massachusetts Review, Atlanta Review, among othersHis poetry collection The Catalog of Broken Things is just out from Airlie Press. He co-edits The Inflectionist Review.