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by Nathan Lipps

Phenomenological Summertime Cocktail

I have yet learned to be

though I look for you who has.

I am sitting down in the Midwest.

Exactly in the middle. Listening to the sound of cattle

and the song of their shit in the pasture.

They won’t be here in spring

like so many things.

Later, I am breathing in old roof shingles

tar and decades of their attempt at definition

now being removed from a shape

that was once our home

against this noon

on a July day too far away

from any sensible

body of water.

We think of what we want.

This the flower, that the weed.

In the dirt.

Everything in the dirt.

The dirt which we know

by pressing our fluids into.

Giving, hoping it takes.

Searching for the border of a field

that by explaining its frame

we’ve said something about ourselves.


Nathan Lipps lives and works in the Midwest and is the author of the chapbook, the body as passage. He is the recipient of the Peter Taylor Fellowship and WSU Poetry Fellowship. His work has been included in Best New Poets, BOAAT, EcoTheo Review, North American Review, TYPO, and Third Coast. You can find him at


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