[What They Were Building…]

By CATE MCLAUGHLIN

 

A fine kettle of fish, an ancient Mesopotamia

unearthed anew. Mystic cities, the press

of fertile crescents,

thighs wide like to lay seed in. Literal rivers.

 

Blood on the tongue, hands rough with hammers,

structures without the sense

 

to not stand. A parting of fur, part animal part

iron. Whole constellations of mistakes, a population

 

of givers and cobblers, prone to sunburn and made

in the image of an absent god.

 

Flood plains, house fires. Obvious mosques. A single word

for coward and to want.

 

Galleries and a textbook of anatomy. Set loose in the desert,

a dissection of thirst.

 

Not a museum of ideas, but a neonatal unit. A sense of unity,

a few songs for the deaf.

 

Something more from maps. Both catch and release.

Tiny, ritual deaths.

 

Cate McLaughlin, an MFA student at Syracuse University, has published a chapbook,The Year of Black Coffee.

 

[Purchase your copy of Issue 05 here]

[What They Were Building…]

Related Posts

Bogota

Translation: Poems by María Paz Guerrero

MARÍA PAZ GUERRERO
Time fills with holes / and puts the scarce body / into one of them // It covers its skeleton of wind / so the current / doesn’t rub against its prickly outside // The air would split into smithereens / if it were touched by the spines // It doesn’t seek to become cuts on the cheek

Crack willow branch

August 2021 Poetry Feature

IAIN TWIDDY
Across the washes, planted on the banks, / crack willow held the drains and dykes in place, / kept them in line, kept them cleanly going, / just as the water, glupping along, fed them, // and then their pollarded branches might be / woven into hives to snaffle eels overnight.

July 2021 Poetry Feature: Burlin Barr

BURLIN BARR
but the wolf tree was there and there was a place where // trophies hung: entire / bodies slung there in semi permanence // turning into everything / imaginable between a fresh body and shit and a variety // of trash; except Otis; he kept his right in front / of the house even