Taxidermy Mountain
Northeastern Nevada Museum, Elko
Claire Dockery

Does nature breed stillness? Our glass

eyes multiply by night. The spaces yield

to yet more sets of fixed legs, crouched

to attack, tensed to flee. The suspense

of ever-readiness, the suspended pursuit

of cotton heart after rags and sawdust.

Our skin-jackets cradle the ghost

of bone discarded to exchange

our lives for saintly patience.

Nature is obedient. Nature

grows like plastic branches, cloth

leaves. Big horn sheep, coyote,

field mouse, vulture. We anticipate

Noah’s second coming. We have learned

harmony in still-life. Our blood runs dry;

there is nothing to fear.


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