Sandy Longhorn is the author of Blood Almanac (Anhinga Press, 2006), which won the 2005 Anhinga Prize for Poetry. New poems have appeared recently or are forthcoming in The American Poetry Journal, Copper Nickel, diode, Juked, and elsewhere. She has also received an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Arkansas Arts Council. Her blog, Myself the only Kangaroo among the Beauty, can be found at http://sandylonghorn.blogspot.com.
Of Mortal Men and Women
Doesn’t everyone misspell death?
Handwriting thick, black, and in all capital letters.
Palms blistered from burying the dead
on the horizon and deep.
Arm’s length is our battle cry.
The devil in the silences and the jagged gaps
between the floorboards, covered
with coughs and cheap cloth.
Who walks more backward into speech?
Not the calf bleating as it’s weaned from the cow.
Not the red-winged blackbird’s territory
cry of okalee, okalee.
Look at me, look at me, is what we mean to say.
Originally appeared in Quarterly West 65 (Fall/Winter 2007-2008): 25