Matt Prater

My higher self wears
a paper-brown jacket

and makes due with coffee
and January kale.

He rises early and
banks the fire.

God has taught him,
and he remembers it,

for the both of us,
that if I would just bear  

through the doldrums,
all doldrums would melt

and bear an English garden
of bee balm and mint.

& whenever I do come
to this well of morning,

the water takes on some
subtle kaleidoscopic flavor—

it is summer-green; 
it is earthy at dusk

with the rush of itself
over the rocks within it;

the grounds of each
morning's coffee sift

down to the bottom
of the camp-blue pot;  

I lift it from the wood stove
in the cabin of my mind,

where I come again to draft
and the deer slinking home

as my ablutions break some
thin internal ice in the room,

so quietly I did not notice
it had pooled and crystalized  

in the thin winter-
sear of my soul.

A wet bear has risen
from the river,

having dreamed
of fish. It carries

its catch to the cave, 
digesting lucid oil.

Matt Prater is a writer and visual artist from Saltville, Virginia. Currently an MFA candidate in poetry at Virginia Tech, his work has appeared in Appalachian Heritage, The Moth, The American Journal Of Poetry, and Crannog, among other publications.