Farah Marklevits




There are only so many sandwiches
in the world, but not one of them
is made of air. Say gusts upwards
of 70 mph, and I remember a pin oak

looms over the service drop. Say
we're picking up a debris field on
Doppler, and I think milkweed, cone-
flower, phlox. Soybean and corn. Javelin,

shot put, quarterback sack, corner kick.
I think some day let's go to the basement
picnic held by dreams. Let's remember
in the sunshine how we taught our children

to slow breath from shiver and shake.
How many times, meteorologist, must
you say possible rotation for me to seek
shelter? At least once more. I need to watch

you make and eat a turkey sandwich
to remember hunger. Make it rye. I need
a thunderstorm shot from a cannon
to remember what kind of animal I am.




for T

Because thorns and inhabitants of thorny places
need champions. Because ocelots belong to wild

remnants, if wild doesn't belong only to imagination.                    
Because rich fur—honey, caramel, chocolate—

should move liquid through the night, and keep
moving, unseen. Because night is certain

but not safe, there are headlights to tear into it.
If you find a dead ocelot, please stay with the carcass

Sing eulogy, then return to work we need you
to do. For each heart beating wild in this wonder, refuge.







My daughters were, for a time, fascinated by the idea of Tornado Alley. When the sirens prompt us to the basement, they wear their bike helmets. My sister, for a time, worked on the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge. I'm interested lately in the idea of refuge and what it means for living things in the uncertain world.