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Wendy Taylor Carlisle: Two Poems

Tragos | Accustomed to Water


They say about goats,
theyíll eat anything.
But thatís not entirely true,
since there are
whole food groups
they avoid: hubcaps,
munitions, Molly Hatchet 8-tracks.
You can listen for a goat hymn
in the clatter of rocks,
in the sighs of a woman,
buried to her neck
in Nigerian sand.
And sighing in the long vowels
of her name,
a goat chorus that urges us
to a dusty field, tells us
we can lie down
and the song
will enter us like a stone.

Accustomed to Water

Today they found the spot on motherís lung
and Bin Laden appealed for more suicide bombers.
The alert status is Orange. The spot is round as an orange,
although the doctor doesnít say what color it is. On the round
earth where our bodies are accustomed to the courtesy of water,
civilians flame up like pine needles, leaving their children
asleep beneath electric fans while a light breeze, destined for
a soldierís head, seeks his quick translation into a prime number.
On an army base, the men are told death is a progression:
agonal phase, Cheyne-Stokes breathing, maybe seizures.
What else are they told? Itís the same news we listen to at home —
CNN says that death is the bomb. But thereís no TV in perdition,
only in hospitals and itís our nature to require grace
we havenít earned — a clean X-ray, an end to the show.

Poet's Biography:
  Wendy Taylor Carlisle lives in east Texas where she writes & reads poetry. Her most recent publications include a chapbook, After Happily Ever After, available at, poems in and Salt River Review, and a review of Annie Finch's CALENDARS in The Cafe Review.

© 1999 - 2003, by the poets featured herein.