After His Divorce
Laura Sobbott Ross
     for Kyle

What came out of him was red.
That beard, I mean.
I suppose we understood
the unspoken insurrection,

the way a shade of russet
could teem like a thicket of wasps
at the corner of his words,
his young throat. All that bristling,

fiery and pugnacious, risen
through his pores while he shrugged
and said little, studied maps

of the Appalachian Trail,
the blue coves of the Florida Keys.
He bought a canoe, followed
night’s damp currents, dressed himself
in a daydream lighter than the nesting

of wiry auburn against his skin.
The water’s surface peeling
in brackish layers from the hull,
all those ragged stars breaking
in the smooth circles of his oars.

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