[Ugly ground   swell moss]


Ugly ground    swell moss

finds you worth keeping

near     Ugly ground    swell moss knows

a face of you you cannot        Ugly ground

swell moss wants you all to itself      to cover

you until your surface area is its surface area

Ugly ground    swell moss feels the cool

of your touch  offering itself as covering to benefit

the each of you           Ugly ground    swell moss wants

you to be exclusive     your gray        its green

your steady     its growth        Ugly ground    swell moss

yawns around you      no devouring   but a covering up

some segmenting         but only of a kind       Ugly ground

swell moss builds itself upon you      never forgetting

the cool felt at its first sprawl                        the jealous guarding

of its dimensions and claim to your outermost layer

Ugly ground    swell moss wants to be soft for you

to have you wherever it can    in whatever form

its natural contortions provide


[Ugly ground               it is daybreak]


Ugly ground                it is daybreak  but this is no aubade

Swell moss has no care of morning     not really         and neither

do you             you ugly ground          you      All you do

is warm under rays and swell moss    what help it can give

any abatement             abetting           it offers           and offers

it does             that swell moss           to you             you

ugly ground     it is not even fracture              it is pure Mohs

and swell moss senses how you hate that scale         hardness

hardly qualitative        yet here you are          and swell moss

there    Ugly ground    shame on you  but swell moss takes it

back     Shame is no good here You are just and only

and ever ugly ground               but that is why swell moss finds

you so necessary        finds you lacking what swell moss procures

Ugly ground    it is still daybreak       to your scale   that is

of geologic time           for briefer objects it is just past          Fog

is lifting now   and though some may think of it as blessing  Ugly

ground             you let the rising heat dry you off      and that is enough

in fact              it is more than enough             enough does not matter

here     you matter      and swell moss matters           you      Matter

and do not let the lessers forget it





Jacob Schepers lives in South Bend, Indiana and is the author of A Bundle of Careful Compromises (2014), which won an Outriders Poetry Project Prize out of Buffalo, New York. His poems have appeared in VersePANKThe DestroyerThe CommonOrange Quarterly, and elsewhere. He is a doctoral candidate and MFA student at the University of Notre Dame.