Useful in the Jungle

I couldn’t remember last year because I was in it.
You didn’t call it war.

You called it me being a bitch
but you knew too much about a range

of lesser cruelties to step aside
or break the harsh stillness useful in the jungle.

Silence clicked into place like Lego bricks,
through the long afternoons we were building.

We lay down. You rose up
in your beautiful, whole skin.

Your arm hair curled red-gold, a trick of light.
Your always-cold feet kept the memory of swamp.

You never mourned or cursed.
Still, I imagined the future as dust.     The future was

In The Mercy of Traffic

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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.