By Sean Hill


                                 I'm facing west, my eyes on the train tracks reaching for the vanishing 
                                 point.  The sunset falls gold and rose on the rails, twin skyscapes each 
                                 like the slice of sky in the city between skyscrapers when looking up, but
                                 I'm looking down remembering last night—the northern lights, green from 
                                 the sky's crown down to the horizon, the bare line of birches running the 
                                 ridge, viridescent backlighting leafing trees out of season.  On the dirt
                                 road between the sloping pasture and the ridge you said forest fire as I
                                 held you and thought a muted carnival just over the hill and wanted to go 
                                 there.  You were wearing the green sweater that matches your mother's
                                 eyes.  There was so much potentiality in that light; it danced over us like
                                 breath on a mirror held under a nose in those noirs or whodunits to check 
                                 for life or death. 

                                                                                         First appeared in Connotations Press:  An Online Artifact

Sean Hill is the director of the Minnesota Northwoods Writers’ Conference. He is the author of two poetry collections, Blood Ties & Brown Liquor (UGA Press, 2008) and Dangerous Goods (forthcoming from Milkweed Editions). His awards include fellowships and grants from Cave Canem, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Bush Foundation, The MacDowell Colony, and Region 2 Arts Council; he was also a Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University. His poems have appeared in Callaloo, DIAGRAM, Ploughshares, Poetry, and numerous other journals. Learn more at