Two Poems//Aaron Burch



the heat is my new friend


after Botch & T. Hayes, after M. Zapruder



Every year, another prediction that this will be the year
Mt. Rainier finally covers the state in lava. Every year,
the same daylight savings jokes, told anew. An hour
here, an hour there, your mom never said about anything.
Every washed-in-the-gold-of-the-sun evergreen, dipped in lava.
Every morning, the “bad boys, bad boys…” song
stuck in your head, for as long as Cops has been
on the air. Only, specifically, the warble of the song
from the specific episode of Cops filmed in your home
town. Only, specifically, everything once described
as “gold,” all now dipped in lava. The Midwest has no lava.
New England has no lava. The entire eastern seaboard,
covered in lava. The entire west coast, covered in tornadoes.
The homesick feeling, at 11 am the first Tuesday of
every month, at the absence of your college town’s tornado siren.














It took me a long time to make the distinction

Between fatherhood and fatherness.


Last winter, a tree fell in our backyard. Or, not

 A tree, but a branch. A piece of a thing


Is not the thing. Still, a just a little further this way

 Kind of thing. There’s more to suffix


Than appendage. A branch large enough to require

A chainsaw purchase. A purchase


Reminiscent enough of my own father to make me

Think, had I only made such a purchase


Sooner, I would have had a better understanding

Of things, myself. Sometimes it’s semantics,


and sometimes you take a thing apart until you

really figure it out. More often than not,


you never figure anything out, but it doesn’t hurt

to take things apart regardless.







Aaron Burch is the author of the story collection Backswing (Queen’s Ferry Press), and the poetry chapbook Between Buffalo and Bison (Publishing Genius Press). He is also the Founding Editor of HOBART: another literary journal. He tweets at @aaron__burch