I found Jebby Eldon drowning
and fished him out crazy like sand
scuffed into wood. A year later
he plays music at Midkiff’s Bar,
plays jazz that scrambles pale smoke
into some wild, clanky riffs.
Sometimes he helps me load the barge
or takes his old mutt hound hunting
grouse on his daddy’s farm, where birds
fly out like pine needles in a devil breeze,
and blue lizards rustle across a rock bluff
like fossils chiseled from midair.
Jebby shoots nothing, just laughs
along the lake fence where he should be dead.
He tells me a young albino owl has pulled
its wings from a pine knot, has fringed
all its howling into another man’s life.
Jebby says I shoulda left him water-logged.