Volume 16:1, Winter 2015
Shiloh Baptist Church Cemetery, Caddo Parish
Left over from bombs of America’s fucked up
catechism, we sharpen our teeth on your old
bones and taste the body’s breakdown:
involuntaries turned coward leaving
you with less than breath. It must’ve felt
like death already, though, when your brain stopped
telling muscles in your hands how to strum.
When your mouth stopped swiveling its hips
to round out ragged grains of truth. Do we
let the slim ghost of your meat scatter
our senses, blues up our bodies, bottom out
until we’ve cooked our fear and eaten it too?
Or do we let you dance us into love
in order to find the language of all things?
Natalie Giarratano's first collection of poems, Leaving Clean, won the 2013 Liam Rector First Book Prize in Poetry and was published in 2013 (Briery Creek Press). Recent poems appear in Gulf Stream: Poems of the Gulf Coast, Isthmus Review, Tupelo Quarterly, Laurel Review, Best New Poets, and Typo. She co-edits Pilot Light, an online journal of 21st century poetics and criticism, teaches writing at American University, and lives in Northern Virginia with her partner and their pup.