Between the brake and clutch
the shrinking dog has hidden.
In the world at large, black hours are being
pearled and shafted. Something had us once;
it seems to be having
a big idea again. A tree
stands out spectacularly
branched; the mind’s eye
grows alert. This god
can hurt. Do we need
to know more? Are we sure? He pours
nine bolts into the mountain’s brain.
Heather McHugh teaches as a core faculty member in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College and as a Milliman Writer-in-Residence at the University of Washington in Seattle. Her most recent book is The Father of the Predicament (Wesleyan University Press, 1999), and she and her husband, Nikolai Popov, translated a book of 101 poems of Paul Celan entitled Glottal Stop: 101 Poems by Paul Celan, (Wesleyan Poetry Series) (Wesleyan University Press, 2004). (updated 2023)