Chavisa Woods

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4 AM Review


'And what if we ate Lions?'

In the dead zone what survives is nothing

and jellyfish, somehow.

Yet its' ghosts keep deaths' place,

water does not hold to earth.

We know what water does.

Catostylus Mosaicus, cnidarian, remain,

gelatinous mushroom catastrophes

translucent and glittering as their difficult, untraceable names

haunting extinguished waters.


'If we tore mile long rakes through Sahara fields,

in an indiscriminate feast of nonsense

tangling Mufasa, Puma, Jaguarondi,

like loose hairs 'round steel prongs?'


We know what water does.

We each cast the stone

of our bodies upon the same transient wave

of a different name, each time, repeatedly, cyclically,


a wave which drinks us,  flings us back to shore, teaching

patience as a gasping,

between inevitable thirst

rising to be quenched with stone.

      as knowing

            god as mirror,  

                     mirror as knowing

                           I have never properly looked myself in the eye.


In the dead zone what grows is nothing

yet water does not hold to sand or earth.

so we must admit these  places haunted

with misspent will, the dark waters cupping no oxygen

as mercury beads like silver blood,

and hovering holds the wounded place.


'If we piled unwanted carcasses atop

random sand drifts where the air is thick as fire

to rot and feed on clay.'


'If the carcasses became mountains,

If all the Disney children

piled all the plush stuffed animals,

excepting the sleeping Lion,

and cast a little chant, so the dolls began to die,

and the death was too great for the earth to swallow,

and the death was too great for the air

to continue breathing.'


What remains is;

names we can not pronounce-

Catostylus, Mosaicus, cnidarian.

unreflective stillness,

the memory of trust,

a reticent eye closing.



'Would we cast our thoughts like a baited, bobbing

line away from choking places,

and feast on Lions,

clinking and spilling overfull goblets

atop our fortress of sand,

priding ourselves glorious sovereigns

of the riches at our disposal?







Originally published by the 4 AM Review, 2007



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