Brennan Sprague

Forest for the Trees

Your phantom limb cradled the newborn lamb—

charcoal hooves shined & polished, gnarled bleating

echoing among the diamond coos. Sipping Pepsi

from a plastic straw while smoking Leika cigarettes.

Lamplight spurs through white-curtained windows,

chanting on about the ends of things, our desires,

our exhalations in the hushed evenings where we sit

beside their cleaved openings perfuming the summer

with our tiny crafted deaths. Shepherd guiding the wolf

through the godless field. The sky’s wound blistering

& wilting, peonies sprouting from our shoulder blades

like the slivering of smoke scalpelled from the stars.

The lamb lowered & placed gently on the grass—

away into the swaying stalks, our bodies orbiting

pitched needles, the crackling of the holy crickets,

our crystallized foreheads against the cool glass.

The lamb’s white coat dissipating into the unknowable.

Sauntering quietly into the dream, eyeing the forest

for the trees—those spectral ladders, this spackle

of a white particle, quenching the ecstatic dark,

from which you were never born


Brennan Sprague studies creative writing at MCC.