PoetryIssue 17 | March 2013

Homecoming

by Dana Guthrie Martin

Give me your filthy brick, your spent
buildings crouched like bodies that turn
their backs as I watch from the narrow bridge.
I’d throw change at the toll’s gaping mouth
if it meant I might finally gain access.
You blacken my lungs, set me gasping
with your ozone and particulates.
You are inside me as much as I am inside you,
the way a blood-fattened horse-fly enters
a structure and won’t leave until it’s spat
on every goddamn wall. Each of us is both
fly and structure — first, the mutual entry
of our invasions, then the cleared space,
afterward, devoid of wings, as sad as the sound
of the last night train moving off, that pathetic
and fading whistle. Longer than I’ll admit,
I’ve watched you court others by the thousands
with no regard for me — each metal facade
that grows from your dirt a promise ring
any vagrant can slip on her swollen finger.
How easily you glint at me in the sinking
light. Cavalier, you cast off sun just like
the fawning river below, which can’t stop
licking your cracked and dirtied feet.

About the author

Dana Guthrie Martin was born and raised in Oklahoma and now divides her time between Missouri and Washington State. Her chapbooks include In the Space Where I Was, Toward What Is Awful and The Spare Room.

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