Three Poems

Our Honeymoon

was a strand of scenic overlooks. 
I first wrote strange
       —a strange of scenic overlooks—
my mistake, and strange enough 
was everything bathed in the red 
Mars dust of Sedona,
the iron in the rocks aligned 
with iron in our blood,
they say, so it tugs on us.
It tugged. Every night
on Airport Mesa, a crowd gathered 
and the Milky Way made a white mess 
of the sky. Was I the only one
who’d wanted to polish it
black again? Our honeymoon
was a scene of stranded overlooks.
We posed for panoramic
photographs minus the photographs. 
Behind us the canyon was banded 
red, copper, purple
       —millions of years
of compressed sunsets—
where the river had gnawed 
down to bone, down
to its strange, scenic marrow.

Indiana Boys

The soybean fields flooded and froze over,
and the boys—not yet their father’s sons, not yet
worrying about crop stubble beneath the ice— 
skate, twilight settling in their hair,
until their mother, watching at the window, 
calls them in for supper. When it’s dark
they’ll sit elbow-to-elbow at the worn farm table 
each son will want when she’s gone,
ringing spoons against the sides of bowls,
that silver-on-ceramic note. But now they glide
across the ice, not yet worrying about surfaces 
that barely hold them, and there is nothing
between them and their mother but the clear
syrup of old glass. It moves so slowly, no one sees.

The Parable of the Bear

Beloveds, I keep picturing it
this way: we’re standing, all of us,
between the Bear and every creature 
the Bear calls prey, and half of us
step aside. Half of us aren’t enough
to hold the Bear. It lumbers,
then, in a blur of claws and mange, 
charges through. What did you think
would happen? The Bear would lose 
its appetite? The Bear might be tamed
with a tiny bicycle, a propeller hat,
a gold sphere to balance on its nose?
I don’t need to describe what happens 
next: the smell of blood, the surprise
of white femur. Ones I have called 
beloved, I keep picturing you
this way: sitting off to one side, 
watching the Bear work, waiting to see
if it leaves any meat on the bones.
Maggie Smith

Maggie Smith is the author of Weep Up (Tupelo Press, September 2017); The Well Speaks of Its Own Poison (Tupelo Press); Lamp of the Body (Red Hen Press); and three prizewinning chapbooks. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in the Paris Review, the Kenyon Review, the Southern Review, Ploughshares, Plume, TriQuarterly, and elsewhere. The recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ohio Arts Council, and the Sustainable Arts Foundation, Smith is a freelance writer and editor.

Arthur Asa

Arthur Asa was born in Monterrey, Mexico. He studied graphic design and industrial design but decided to leave everything behind and become a construction worker. During this time he discovered all he ever wanted to do was draw and tell stories. He is now an illustrator by afternoon and a comic artist by night— sometimes both by night. He has a comic called Where the Heart Is that you can find online.

First Featured In: No. 7, spring 2017

The Luck Issue

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