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Fall/Winter 2017

Wyatt Townley


Years later the wound
hasn’t healed where the sky
came down, a mile-wide
gouge on the south
side of town.  Houses

creep back, crack
their shuttered eyes, tattoo
parlor, nail salon, warehouse
of the lost and found.
No one’s around.  Stoplights

keep time turning
in this scarred and carless place. 
We’re all heading skyward
in a circle, skyward
in a circle.  Everyone’s changed

partners, turned their backs
on the wind that took their shoes,
spun up a chorus of cars
and barbed wire,
rearranged the living

room, slamming the piano
in the sandbox. 
It was the worst sound
in the warehouse of the lost
and found when the wind sped up

and the sky came down.

Wyatt Townley is Poet Laureate of Kansas Emeritus. Her work has been read by Garrison Keillor on NPR, featured by Ted Kooser in “American Life in Poetry,” and published in journals including The North American Review, Nimrod, The Paris Review, New Letters, Prairie Schooner, and The Yale Review. The poems in this issue are from her forthcoming book, Rewriting the Body.



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