In the Interest of Time by Madeleine Wattenberg

And after, we walked the desecrated warren and sat in the cold bones. How proficiently we licked at our fingers in the adder-dark, joyful as venom, full as an old name, the alders’ legs out of time in the stone. We scrub where rock meets paper in hope of an open cut.

And after, we laughed. See, the dirt kept coming, until the lines grew clean and wide and I could fit in a whole land. Beetles eat the sweet wet drips. We have lakes, we have a quarter-country, only we have no coin and so grow poor in our new castle. Oh well.

And after, the sunlight removed its blade. We lay down our own hearts for a glimpse of salt in the mirror. An error. An ear full of wolf’s wool. Art. We begin to brush oil from our hair, air turns in the war-chamber. We possess weapons here. Or is it that we are

weeping. Our hands resume their work—to feel, then fell. Imagination—the gene gone wrong in its chromosome-cradle. A peripheral skirmish to break down the door. Enter. Say smoke leaks to the pupil. Our bodies leak odes to polished triggers. After a time, more.
Madeleine Wattenberg’s work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as Fairy Tail Review, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Mid-American Review, Guernica and Best New Poets. She regularly writes for the review site The Bind and is a PhD student in poetry at the University of Cincinnati.