PoetryIssue 17 | March 2013

Body-threaded

by Liz L. Lyon

in London—Training on electric power through soft country air:
the polyester seats are tartan-scratched
with a yellow on blue. I’ve never been here –
But two centuries and four generations of meiosis ago
I remember the steam-powered huffling coal. The bone-memory,
blood remembrance, comes easy. The drone of bagpipes at the bridge
makes the genes ache, remember how long they’ve wandered.

in Beijing—The cramped and crowded curve
of the hutongs. I smell the gong bao, sizzling
in fat, the chink of real jade knocking against tourist-teeth.
People here are rivers, compounded energy:
my feet understand angles before my head.
The memory returns in the going,
taking each step forward: memoried muscle.

in Buenos Aires—I can’t remember: the oppressive air, the
smell of the southern sun, the taste of the bailar,
the hot wound of colonialism and the cool shade
of puertos cerrados. The graffiti, tattooed
on the city’s spine, is impressed on my eyes,
leaving an after-sight of empty, untasted
bitterness, non-flavor, non-color. It is the taste of my own spit
for a place my body cannot remember.

About the author

Liz Lyon has accidentally set off house alarms in Spain and jumped into several Swiss lakes. The next adventure is New Zealand and the glow worm caves of Waitomo. This is her first major publication.

Read our current issue:

Poetry

Two poems by Anne Babson
Vignette, Townhouse, 9 a.m. by Troy Cunio
Night Becomes Day Over the West by Megan Foley
Yukon River Aurora by D. B. Goman
Two Poems by David Havird
Cretan Love Letter by Emily Linstrom
Holland by Rick Mullin
Fear in Kenya by Kristina Pfleegor
The Lounge Lizard by Ed Shacklee
Two Poems by Sarah J. Sloat
Night Flight by Vicki Stannard
Koinonia Farms by Alina Stefanescu
Thessaloniki, Four a.m. by Anastasia Vassos
Imaginary Oceans by Jason Warren
Two Poems by F. J. Williams

Postcard prose

It’s Salty by Kelly Hill

Travel notes

Anchorage in the Great Land by Karen Benning
The Value of Small Money by Megan Hallinan
Screensaver by Sandra Larson
Thirty Cents by Tommy McAree
Gokarna by Kate McCahill
Going Places by Rachel Miller-Howard
Susanville CA: Notes From The Road by Susan Volchok