Matt Thomas is a livestock farmer, D.C. tech worker, and occasional community college teacher. His work has recently appeared in Spellbinder Magazine, Tiny Seed Literary Journal, and The Wild Word. He lives with his partner and their teenage daughter in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.


Above the MTS, listening;
voices arrive, depart,
a door slams, footsteps in
and then out of hearing,
an upward rain of
oral-aural modalities
that the mountains, also
watching, perceive visually
because those sounds don’t
have the energy to go
where they (the mountains)
are peering
from the pulled aside fog
in a knotted, wet silence
at the small bodies
cut off from the larger, lessening
perceptibly (to the mountains)
in the blue capped glare.
I know that mountains don’t see
but it’s sweet
to think that the mountains
and I have been marooned
by the same boat,
that it’s an us rather
than me who lacks the time
to figure out the meaning
of all this energy, cast away.

How to Throw a Dead Thing

Pick it up by the tail to throw it:
a last kinetic act
like every act,
a weighing of probability,
this equaling that.
Gravity wants the inert thing
so swing it back high at
the start to charge the launch
but ask yourself,
will the tail hold?
Or will it break
and send the animal bowling
to land unnaturally folded,
staring you down
with fogged eyes and
curled lip, a glimpse
of your own inevitable
colic, innards
peeking from asshole?

Maybe grab a back leg
instead, a more honest lever
to lift the combined weight
of head and shoulders which
with timed release
will haul the rest of the animal
into the air, arcing
across the tracks to rest
in the hedgerow. Where
glimpsed it will be
as it was when it was living,
a flash of tawn in the
bird flecked green, while
the land anticipates bones,
cleaned, because that’s how
the land wants everything.


A middle-aged man dressed
for work leaning
into an open passenger
window and a woman leaning

toward him from the driver’s
seat so that
the two of them form a
truss, her hand extended,

fingers stretched to press
flat on the mussed head presented
and held for a moment,
the bliss of touch stripping

the everyday from it.
A simple embrace
of the gravity
of watching the other erased

by the limits of vision.
That could be us, throwing
the sign of ourselves like
an apotropaic eye

at the chaos curbside,
you and me a peculiar culture,
speaking figures gawked
at the Kiss & Ride.