Arsenic Lobster poetry journal Issue Thirty
Winter 2012
Wendy Taylor Carlisle

In the Tito-less empire of stolen Lipizzaners, the clinic is awash

in toddlers and grandmothers, everyone wrinkled or squirmed into plastic

chairs, patient in a tile hallway. Stunned by boredom and disinfectant,

a traveler who finds herself there pursues an inquiry into municipal discomfort.

During the Big War in that small country, soldiers froze or were cut down

in twelve battles at the Ljubljana gate, rendered to compost above

the Soca River Road, their pockets crammed with tomatoes that rotted

then seeded and fruited to feed surviving locals. A traveler on that hillside

might dig for souvenirs, shrapnel and shell casings, snippets of bone

and ordinance sunk into the chat, might rifle through photographs

in Kobarid’s museum seeking the best moustache. But to appreciate

that nation, you must first understand how cold the cold is in its mountains,

how striking the circus tent always makes us sad, even if the beautiful white stallions

are all accounted for, even if they are only moving to another town.

About Wendy Taylor Carlisle

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