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  • Writer's pictureEvan Burkin

The Color of Dirt

An emboldened doe bakes in Liverpool under heated greens & beech limbs.  

Its red dew soaks the edges of its shallow birth. A fermentation of scent 

Divulged: nutmeg bristles cushioning a life rooted in the color of dirt.

There, upon pillaged chrysanthemums, 

The newborn rests with the face of a golem.

Its lineage a fiction of mud and water. 

Blossoming, sun-crusted wheat looms while Kirkby clouds play limbo. A

Laugh held between scythe cycles settles as charred soufflé. Its binged crust

Tongued away to a white paste in the measured height of ocean mimicry.

There, before fields and sky, our little golem-doe

Sees the cotton soft of everyday life and trusts 

nature as a fragrance, the mother of pastels. 

Plated horns tip in dawn’s whisked liquor to dip in dusk. Bland lilies secure.

Sponge them drunk. In the knolls of coarse grain, the lightest of buds lost

Courses a river. Air blackens on its canvas: the hollows between life and air. 

There, at the river’s edge, a tongue teaches itself

to identify water as a mirror of the self unbound.

It will always want the earth to mask itself in nirvana.


Evan Burkin (he/him/his) is currently working toward an MFA in Creative Writing at San Francisco State University, where he serves as an assistant poetry editor for the grad-run literary journal, Fourteen Hills. His work has been published or is forthcoming in New American Writing, Allegory, THRUSH, Birdcoat Quarterly, and elsewhere.


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