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     The Literary Review
                                                                          Issue 8

Page 68

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COVID Spring

If a night of rain doesn’t pry
petals off the cherry tree
then maybe all the tears
won’t wash the virus down
the streets of Greenwich Village,
tumble into gutters
and carry them out to the salty sea
where fish eat what doesn’t float
and stay safe to spawn the next generation.

When the nurses lift their lids
and enter subway cars
already masked like bandits
to steal the germs away
they’ll see the people set in seats
like counters in a game
each with a shelf life
stamped on shoe bottom
but ready for the roll of chance:
some germinating the crown of death
jeweled points springing through
their scalps and sparking hair
as the days progress to rituals
that call us blessed.

  Sarah Wyman__

A Trembling in the Saucer

Although she put up with diamonds
and knew to linger
in the moment
when his lips approached,
she never really felt
that the hairs
splitting his knuckles into segments
deserved - even a one -
such attention
as she impulsively bestowed upon them.
Short fronds sprouting
like desert grass
could only draw
hungry herbivores.
And she had always loved
the tear of meat from bone
the cracklings along
the edge of her steak.

What stake then
could she put
on this fond beast
softening his claws
upon the café counter,
leaning near
so gradually
that the gem's glint
caught one drop
as her cup spilled
slightly into its dish
and she thought,
"what a drip!"

  Sarah Wyman__

Gibbous Moon

Tonight we see a gibbons moon
swinging its rounded way from star to star
on invisible thick-furred arms
adrift in the weightless air.
Back when we were born in our separate years,
each emerged just after the moon waxed full
our mothers knowing the roll into life
a chaotic revolution.

Naked and hairless, but already fast
ready for the fruit of brachiation,
we reached for the tallest flash of light
ticking through branches.

Our long limbs would carry us tree to tree
each five-fingered clutch an anchor above the fray,
always the detached and distant view
where patterns emerge on the surface of a world below.

Mistaking the companion route for the only way
the darkest carved-in road across the planet,
we mistook a line for a limit
and encircled our world with a link
bonding like the most intimate of primates
twining our songs in vines
that could not bear our weight.

  Sarah Wyman__

© Carrie Magness Radna: Under Pioneer Square, Seattle (July 2019)

© Carrie Magness Radna: Under Pioneer Square, Seattle (July 2019)

Mad Me & the Bee

My madness amplifies the message
and makes the coiled course I must take
as clear as the sounding bees
fuzzy at the edges, but firm
and ready to engage the shears
to deck my desk with flowers:
slinky spin around the shaft of choice.
Cut this cord, muzzle any argument against,
and let the tendrils grow a day or two
where they fall, still stuck to the stem.

Why would one pluck a blossom from the hill,
carry its severed head indoors
and make it sing through clear liquid
that catches gasps and cries?
Black banded round the midrift
I buzz my anger at the thief
hop my honey-layered dance up and down,
nectar on my nose
and pollen on my feet
then dart inside to sting.

  Sarah Wyman__


My mink is a banana, slung at great cost
on this coat hook, in-country
miles from the land where someone picked it green
puckered in its balloon of plastic
to keep the bugs away,
to qualify as organic, pure, untouched
by chemical cleansing or genetic besting.

It’s here to cream my shake into
A whipped delight of kale-laced morning shine,
to bring a spark to the cheek,
bartered for my breakfast,
shipped packed in a labeled box.

They come in cardboard marked Dole,
Del Monte, from Asia or Ecuador,
negotiated fruit from the tropics
to my door, a history of World Bank
maneuverings, worth pennies at the root
to accompany a morning
bought at a cost no day’s labor could afford.

  Sarah Wyman__