aubade with two moose

It’s not our sameness
that draws me but the ways
we are different— my chest bare
as the moon while hair thickets yours.
We wait in a room without windows
for the sun to drag itself across
the shut door. You stir like pond water
like summers spent backstroking

but I keep you from leaving
by saying useless things: how I smell from weeks
of snow and salt and once
I saw a bull moose tilt back
his heavy head, let out a brass bellow.
Another bull answered and the two
barebacked, their antlers grinding. When you turn
toward the crack of light

I tell you that’s the sun rising
in my chest, the birds shaking frost
from their feathers. Inside me
is a forest, a building stream, a moose
calling out to rub racks in the river,
to surge above the watercuff, the slivers
of salmon, above the rising sun
and the broad blue mountains.


Poem originally published in The Allegheny Review.

Jacques J. Rancourt holds the 2011-2012 Halls Emerging Artist Fellowship from the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. His work has appeared or is forthcoming from New England Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Colorado Review, and Columbia, among others. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin.