Fall 2016

Edited by Andrea Spofford, Barry Kitterman, Amy Wright


​Naked in Cowboy Boots with Lasso, I Challenge God

Osel Jessica Plante​

You do not ask but enter our neighborhoods, circle our cul-de-sacs,
blare the silence of loss and longing into our yards and synapses,
into my sink of unwashed dishes while the cats cower in the bed sheets.

I have begged and received one divorce, two pregnancies which ended
with the black dot and dirty rag of surgery, the memory of longing sunk
by grief, a cold cactus on a desert night and somewhere out there

my ex-husband wandering. But now my heart is elastic as a lasso
I've reeled in to knock the dust from my boots, a full cast of stars
clicking in the night sky. I let my arm fly again and pull them in

for a kiss, forgiveness, to catch what was never mine. So I learn
to bend and give until I hold drops of dew on each needle
for lizards to tongue, my sons. Because everything deserves relief,

because I've grown strong this way, letting out a little more rope
each night growing more and more still as if to burst from all
I accommodate inside these spurs and bones, inside the curve

my arm makes as I wave goodbye and hello with my rope dragging
more and more darkness out of a sky that feasts on God's
one good eye, the closed one, the one he uses to measure us by.

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