His eyes float like eggs fresh cracked in a bowl, glistening, wet, slipping away from center, receding like bonds
broken. He comes to the waiting room, comes quiet, comes with the image of blood spilling like concrete in the street. Pray, he says. Bring a priest
to negotiate. Transubstantiate. But the women waiting know it takes blood, bowls of blood, rooms of blood, rivers and oceans, wombs of blood to create. She tears
like fresh paper, opens like Vesuvius, cascade of smelted stone to destroy, to preserve. She could pull a train, peel the earth’s crust, shatter diamond houses. She breathes
gravity. He imagines she will break from the ground, intestines and lungs spilling to the floor like altar offerings, her heart following the flow of after
birth. He cups like a shallow dish, steadies with his hoof hands, roof damaged, wind scarred hands. Twisting, he comes, a war correspondent crossing borders,
knees bent to the ashed-scent of blood, carrying news like an armful of dead soldiers, carrying the words on his back because his mouth is full.
A Sound Like the Earth
Beneath the willow tree, leaves tangle her hair. She flattens her hands to the night. The grass grows dew between her bare feet.
She leans into the train whistle. Selfish to wish him shot or missing a leg, to want a piece of him home to ease the worry that only dog tags and a flag
will bear him to the back country again. Her brother will not be among the soldiers coming home tonight, patched and worn thin like daddy’s overalls at the end of summer.
She divines the night air for facts but her great-grandmother buried all the family magic decades ago. Standing in the fog she holds the wind in her hands.
-- Lacie Clark-Semenacich’s poems have appeared in MOBIUS, Phantasmagoria, Coe Review, Barrelhouse, Zygote In My Coffee, Kansas City Voices, and Scissors & Spackle. Her chapbook, Legacies, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2012.