POETRY ISSUE #39

Black Dog
Image: “Black Dog” by Han Jeon, color pencil on paper, 2017, 22×32 in.

 
 
 
 

Kristin Macintyre

Featured Poet

 

Weathervane

I am so far away I write you
a postcard from the next room,
say there is a whole

grove of plum trees waiting
on the rooftop — neat little rows of stone
fruit above the washroom.

Bone and azalea gather at the window
and we talk of storm
clouds, half watch the ants march

over my teabag. The kitchen
smells of asphalt tar, your tongue
the color of mercury in the thermometer.

There is spine and steel and altitude
in this home. Here a great
strip of lightning finds the head

of a nail.

 

 

Bride, Aubade

Come dawn,
we slouch in bed, each twinned

knuckle of the spine
curled inward. You ask me about a wedding,

In a meadow after the rain, you say
the wide sky bowed above.

You reach into the night
stand, push high your sleeve, tear

the bedsheet into strips—white tourniquets
for celebration. A bow

around my arm, a bow around
yours. The needle careful slips

into its home, my irises
tighten like winter ice, tongue

swells as if to fill the throat
entire—the broad-backed sky above

silent by design.

 

 

[untitled]

My mother leaves us

sea glass on the porch swing. She walks the beach

most days, bundles pieces of drift

with silk. We turn the glass over & over

in our hands, wonder

how slow the ocean’s clock, how

lush its cradle. I sing and spoon

the salt into hot water, clean

my arm up and down—bruise

purpling in the bend—you, already draped

across the couch, your wrist

rolled godward, your face

smooth and featureless like Leviathan’s marble

washed ashore.

 

 

Carousel

Again, today, grandmother’s music
box spins a ballerina into the bedroom

eaves. The spider makes another star-
shaped home, believing enough

in arc & sky. I watch the blind
plants go wilding up the window, leaves

like palms against the glass. You
set the kettle on the stove, dead

bolt the front door, cinch the belt
tighter with your teeth. We can live

like this, our bodies asking for exit—
meanwhile, flowers budding

in the backyard, a whole field of godheads
yawning in wait.

 
 
 

Kristin Macintyre

Kristin Macintyre is currently an MFA candidate at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. When
she is not writing, she teaches freshman composition and drinks coffee in her small garden.

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