It felt like we could shake loose the ripe fruit from the dwindling days
until the sky was emptied of the baying sounds of an October storm
and when the trees become bare it will be impossible to evade
the piece of you that the light captured. Fireflies in a garden that we chased
into jars for keepsake. In the morning, we would go to collect the fallen
from the battleground and clothe them in who they once were. Patron saints
of the unrepentant, the gilded armor of the cursed child held closely
in the dying hue of a lonesome night that swallowed the last of us here
and displayed you in the road a motionless body when you wandered away
as the careless dancer, but this was a tempo that the EMT’s saw was offbeat
and when they arrived on the scene, they knelt to the pavement
to collect the fallen from the undercarriage of that pick-up truck
listening to what remained of your song and now I am rummaging through dirt
looking for my friend beneath the blurred vision of someone’s intoxicated recollection
that “It all happened so quickly.” Did you really just come all the way here to watch
me bury a bone in this cramped crawlspace that no one can stand up in
because everything about him was too valuable to part with?
I reach for the canopy of light that stretches down to the overgrown bedstraw
where he was buried, with the dream I could shake him loose
from a sky that doesn’t want to let go.

MATTHEW MUTIVA is that feeling you get when your favorite song comes on the radio, but when you listen to it, you realize you just caught the end of it, and now you’re pissed. In his senior year of college, he is a Professional Writing major with a Creative Writing minor at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. He is a former Assistant Editor for the literary journal The Driftless Review. His poem” Hood Superheroes” won first place in the 2015 Thomas Hickey Creative Writing Awards Contest. His poem “What’s your favorite color?” won first place for the poetry portion of the 2013 Thomas Hickey Creative Writing Contest, and his other poem, “Offended”, was awarded second place for the poetry portion of the 2014 Thomas Hickey Creative Writing Contest.