While Our Father Was Hunting Rocks

By ELIZABETH HAZEN
Mountains rise beyond the Laundromat
like ochre waves about to crash; our father,
armed with tools and pack, tracks the rocks
without a map. Here, the Laundromat is all
in a strip of vacancies; for miles, nothing
but dirt, dust, outcrop, sky. Our mother gives

us coins to clink in the machine; it gushes
cold, foams with the flower-scented soap we dump
from a plastic scoop. Out back, we kick the dirt:
curled in sagebrush, the carcass of a cat.
Inside, our mother, lost in swirls of fading
color, and somewhere in the rocks that look
so near collapse, our father carves out meaning.
When he returns to us, hours later, or days,
he pulls trilobites from his pack, licks them clean.
See? he says, and we do. Dusk hovering,
we chatter at him, showing him the laundry
we have helped our mother fold. At last, we lead him
to the cat, our great find, its stench rising, the novelty
of death a little less under his studied gaze,
and the flies buzzing like static, eager to feed.

 

Elizabeth Hazen has poems appearing or forthcoming in Best American Poetry 2013, The Threepenny Review, Southwest Review, Fourteen Hills, Salamander, and other journals. She lives in Balitmore.

[Purchase your copy of Issue 02 here.]

While Our Father Was Hunting Rocks

Related Posts

Top-down view of bouquets of various flowers, presumably for sale at a market.

Translation: Poems by Mireille Gansel

MIREILLE GANSEL
this morning while I was going to the docks looking for summer's last flowers at the florist's suddenly the look of this young boy with his mother her head scarf knotted like the Romani women who had offered us hospitality he and she hurrying both of them grasping black bags

Washington Heights

November 2022 Poetry Feature: Anacaona Rocio Milagro

ANACAONA ROCIO MILAGRO
Because there weren’t any fireflies in the hood / as a child i imagined roaches were angels on a / mission. To save lives, they’d crawl into the mouths / of the chosen. Initially i found them disgusting. / They’d infest my Fruity Pebbles cereal. i’d pluck / them out

Image of the moon. Camera is focused on the moon against a pitch black background.

Klan Giant

TOMMYE BLOUNT
Look up here, the air is Aryan. The moon, / our white hood. Our life must loom large / above that which is darkened in our shadow. / A fate loomed long ago, ours // in the weft and warp of hems, / a lowered white curtain on this / re-coonstructed show