Arsenic Lobster poetry journal Issue Thirty-one
Spring 2013
Earth Science
Callista Buchen

We light up our fields with fire.
Tire tracks like teeth and small, wet arches.

The farm becomes a golf course becomes a subdivision becomes back home.

People want to triumph. To triumph
burning the field. The islands
about to sink in the south Pacific.

A sentence can not go on without foundation, without cinder blocks, without a large pile of clay
next to the hole, which is not the foundation itself, but rather the record of it, yet not of the
foundation, but of its construction. And this, too, goes flat over the yard before the frame rises.

We want to shape the knoll. Divert the waters.
The story. Arrange vertebrae. Nails. The sound of it:
island, island, island.

Bones and shadows. Cities of twins,
everywhere islands of twins.

There is a you and there is another you
holding clay hands, blinking clay-smeared eyes.
Cracking, hardening in the heat. One of you runs
to the firehouse. The other licks the burn.

The knoll. The waters. The knoll. The waters.
The sentence. The island. To understand it

geologically. This is the goal.
To burn out the invisible, to stand
until the sea and the heat overtake. To swim.

Until the buildings build each other
and all the books are broken spines.

Until the people eat clay
shaped like punctuation. Until we try
to leave. Until the people hunt for twins.

About Callista Buchen

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