by Will Schutt

They drive their tusks in the dirt
till the whole slope is pure shit

cost and effort, force and grit

their entire beings tugged two ways
by tribalism and ego

sometimes saying the simplest things
yes, no, I’ll have the ragout, thanks

turns into a trial as if the words
lay buried a foot deep

in the apron of the mountain, like truffles

and you had to hold your nose
when you split one down the center

WILL SCHUTT is the author of Westerly, winner of the 2012 Yale Series of Younger Poets Award. A graduate of Oberlin College and Hollins University, he is the recipient of awards and fellowships from the James Merrill House, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and the Stadler Center for Poetry at Bucknell University. His poems and translations have appeared in Agni, Field, and The New Republic. He is currently the Tickner Writing Fellow at the Gilman School in Baltimore, Maryland.