The litany of conviction is repetition
Weather precedes your arrival. Light arrives later as
small irregular shingles, carpets the lawn.
Hurricanes drag the levees.
The current drives our good goat to his knees.
While a hurricane is happening, it’s OK to
consider your relief when it’s over.
Many traffic lights now have traffic cameras but
there are only 11 sure ways of lying to a duke.
Do not break your knee.
Healing it will be more difficult than you expect.
If you died today, would you spend an eternity?
Solid is a state we might attain, when thick is what we mostly are
The litany of conviction repeats
I Got Him a Shirt
I got him the red shirt but he got
his own belly and we promised not
to go back until we’d had enough
of what was out there for us—
although we did anyway—since
Mexico in a magazine always sighed,
Peregrinate, until the plastic suitcase
gave way while we were still struggling
with the stones in our shoes and
anyway like I said to Mary, buying
that shirt just showed love is something
you do, not something you feel.
First appeared in Ghoti
Take the least weasel, she said,
like every weasel, brown above and white
beneath, take the mostly albino ferret,
or the ermine, dark to light, depending
on the season, even take the wolverine,
that dusky glutton, Gulo Gulo, skunk bear,
every one of these, true carnivores,
take their instinct for testicle and jugular,
their names suggesting a wide paw,
a sharpened tooth, the knife of claw.
The scarlet line from them to us, she said,
is a digression, dear ratel. The larger
mammals like ourselves are hostages
to fractured logic once we’ve dined out
in Leningrad on weaker friends,
our praise for clean, unbloodied paws,
while to our credit, honey Badger,
never hides, nor our white backs disguise
how, unlike any Musteline,
we wear our darkest fur below.
First appeared in Emprise Review
Wendy Taylor Carlisle is an Arkansan who lived for twenty years in Texas. She is the author of Discount Fireworks (Jacaranda Press, 2008) and Reading Berryman to the Dog (Jacaranda Press, 2000). Her chapbook, After Happily Ever After, was published as #15 in the 2River Chapbook Series. Her poems have appeared on line at Fringe Magazine, Ghoti Magazine, Salt River Review, 2River View, The Arkansas Literary Forum, Unlikely Stories, StorySouth and others and in print in CiderPress Review, Cardinalis, Windhover, Borderlands, Ekphrasis and others. She has won several awards and has been eleven times nominated for a Pushcart Prize and twice for Best of the Web.