after Tehuantepec, Oaxa, photography by Graciela Iturbide (Mexico) 1985 (Click here to view.)
We are the fish of the world.
We eat and are eaten.
Cranes pick our teeth
and leave the strings of our naked jaws
to gnaw the grass
until they become the earth.
We pick raspberries from uncut canes
and share bare roots for planting.
We eat the sweet flesh and piths
of those empty-bellied bodies.
We are full-bellied roses frost-burnt, drooping
and tight blooms coiled pink and white,
pulsing into winter.
We are rusty wombs swimming,
We are sedum, tight-packed pink in summer,
Nautilus, coriolis-spiral under first snow,
thawing under last, lifting through the melt.
We are the crane again plucking fish like flushed berries,
the sky--blue, black, blushing--
the trees lifting in mist,
roads crawling away, dollhouses full
of furniture but empty of children,
ozone after rain, company waiting,
a fiddler's broken string,
and all the earth is a singing companion.
Julene Waffle, a graduate of Hartwick College and Binghamton University, is a teacher in a rural NYS public school, an entrepreneur, a nature lover, a wife, a mother of three boys, two dogs, three cats, and, of course, she is a writer. She finds great pleasure in juggling all these things and managing to seem like she has it all together.. Her work has appeared in The Adroit Journal, NCTE’s English Journal, La Presa, The Non-Conformist, The Ekphrastic Review, and Mslexia, among others. She was also published in the anthologies Civilization in Crisis, American Writers Review 2021, and Seeing Things (2020), and her chapbook So I Will Remember was published in 2020. Learn more at www.wafflepoetry.com.
The Ekphrastic Review
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