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 and writes with both feet in the Arkansas Ozarks. She is the author of four books: Reading Berryman to the Dog (2000), Discount Fireworks (2008), The Mercy of Traffic (2019) and On the Way to the Promised Land Zoo (2019) and five chapbooks.

Wendy Taylor Carlisle
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