To love what is easy is easy: that red maple leaf, this photo of your father as a boy in 1945, the view from a mountain in autumn, the river and the way it carries on, shouldering time and yet always present. But what about the seagull skull I found on the shore, just a wide-eyed piece of cartilage trailing a lacy tail of vertebrae? Or the fox’s body on the side of the road, slowly decaying? The writhing fist of maggots opens suddenly as bright green flies, their green no less, despite their dark birth. And when this body has deflated and ribs like fingers cup what’s left of its last breath, who mourns? Who rejoices as it sacrifices itself to feed this weedy ditch, the dandelions and Queen Anne’s lace?

AMY JIRSA lives in Maine and spends much time shoveling snow and watching tides. Her poems have appeared in journals including Watershed, Chantarelle’s Notebook, and Stolen Island Review. She will receive her MA in creative writing from the University of Maine in May of 2010.