Speaking in Tongues

On the day it finally snowed, we drove
home, with the dog licking the window
in long, loud slurps, as if a spring

had welled up, conjured from the car,
as if the pane had become a cistern.
Twenty-degree weather, and his tongue

didn’t stick, but described steamy trails
through his reflection, while we chided him,
Stop, bad boy! What did we miss?

Some condensation grander than breath?
There was nothing beyond the farm fences
that afternoon, nothing beyond the fat snow

sliding by the car, fog, winter pastures,
the dog's reflection in the frozen glass.

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About the Author

Wendy Taylor Carlisle lives in the Arkansas Ozarks. She is the author of four books, including, The Mercy of Traffic, winner of the Phillip H. McMath 2020 Post-Publication Award and five chapbooks. Her work appears in Atlanta Review, Mom Egg Review, pacificREVIEW and this spring Doubleback Books reprinted her 2008 book, Discount Fireworks as a free download.