“There Is No Answer to the Simplicity of Weather,” a collaborative poem by Leigh Chadwick & Mitchell Nobis

Bad Survivalist: Leigh Chadwick
& Mitchell Nobis

There Is No Answer to the Simplicity of Weather

My dreams are nothing but a wall of owls. I wake up all eyes and twisted thumbs. The birds are back in pre-dawn spring. I’m stuck in an alarm clock of sweetness and tweets as the river pushes heavy with dead winter and trash. Benches are free unless you’re poor. I think about church, but I don’t know why. I cross my mouth. I consider thinking about Memphis. I used to love and I still do. I imagine swallowing grime under my fingernails. I imagine a medicine cabinet full of nail clippings. I imagine my sweat dripping into the river, pushing the dying and dead trash south. Would it get there by winter? Would I? I blink back the urge to dive headfirst down the stairs like a shortstop catching a shot. I want a reason to crossover into a finger roll. I look up. I feel close enough to the sky to be trapped in a postcard. Eagles circle overhead. They want to eat my liver, regenerating downriver forever. I always remember. I tell them so. I never trust them.

Leigh Chadwick is the author of the chapbook Daughters of the State (Bottlecap Press, 2021) and the poetry coloring book This Is How We Learn to Pray, illustrated by Stephanie Kirsten. Her forthcoming books include her debut poetry collection Your Favorite Poet (Malarkey Books, 2022) and the collaborative poetry collection Too Much Tongue (Autofocus, 2022), co-written with Adrienne Marie Barrios. Leigh’s poetry has appeared in Salamander, Passages North, The Indianapolis Review, Identity Theory, Reservoir Road, and Hobart. She can be found online at leighchadwick.com and on Twitter at @LeighChadwick5.

Mitchell Nobis is a writer and K-12 teacher in Metro Detroit. His poetry has appeared in Rise Up Review, Nurture Literary, The Hopper, Hobart, and others. He facilitates Teachers as Poets for the National Writing Project and hosts the Wednesday Night Sessions reading series. Find him at @MitchNobis or mitchnobis.com.

Image: salon.com

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