In Salida
(for Mark Irwin)

by Cody Todd

The silt of sundown. A book
and the willful blood
keeping me alight. Free as
bats in their clumsy ownership

of stars. Their brittle-skinned wings
darting like fugitive leaves.
Moon a pale ghost
on fire for heathens.
Mosquitoes heavy

with our blood. Two thieves
walk a motorcycle
out of a shed
and carry two buckets
of paint as well. The hounds

shout their testimonies
between the slats
and chicken wire
until the freight train
runs by with its villainy
and pomp. Yeats once wanted

to animate a night as trivial
as this, but we cannot ram
the sun into everything.
With breath and hunger,
with our backs turned to death.

Cody Todd is the author of Graffiti Signatures (Forthcoming, Main Street Rag) and the chapbook, To Frankenstein, My Father (2007, Proem Press). His poems have appeared in the Gettysburg Review, Salt Hill, The Florida Review, and The Literary Review, among other journals. He is also the Managing Editor & co-creator of the online literary journal, The Offending Adam (

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