By R. Bratten Weiss
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To live decently is to tread lightly, but
here it is a new year and maybe I’m ready
to stop worrying about decency. I’m ready
to stomp around, a ten-ton weight with
elephant legs, shaking the windows.
I’m tired of going gently, water on glass.
Maybe it’s time for the tongues of men and
angels, time to shoot fire from my fingertips.
A fleet of ships on the wine-dark sea would
do nicely to carry what I want to say.
I need to make cities fall.
I need to write the message like a knife
to the throat, like firewater. I need it to crack
like a whip in winter air.
If it does its job, it will lift you on its
burnished horns, trample you, raise
a trumpet to its mythic mouth and blast
Alleluia over the broken cliffs, terrify
the wild turkeys and the grazing deer,
and the red-tailed hawk that will take
to the air crying your name.
R. Bratten Weiss is a freelance academic and organic grower residing in rural Ohio. Her creative work has appeared in numerous publications, including Two Hawks Quarterly, Presence, Connecticut River Review, Shooter, Seventh Wave, and Slipstream. Her chapbook Mud Woman, with Joanna Penn Cooper, was published in 2018, and her chapbook Talking to Snakes by Ethel in 2020. She is a two-time Pushcart nominee, and winner of the Helen Schaible Memorial Sonnet Contest, Modern category.