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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Wendy Taylor Carlisle

Wendy Taylor Carlisle lives in the Arkansas Ozarks. She is the author of two books, and five chapbooks, most recently They Went Down to the Beach to Play, Locofo Chaps, 2017. Her poem, "Advice" was first published in AVENUE.

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