Southern Folklore

No murderer knows what's been prevented
at the end of a bandage at the end of a knife
at the end of blood and egg; these four questions
weave a net through which on every season,
a little rain suspends. Thread bears the weight.
A patchwork seamstress obeys it.
Her heavily salted hips sigh nearby-
I know this truth before I spin it.
Almond butter would not taste so sweet and lie.
She gets up again in little bundles, and for
this charade, the prowler bares naked bones
and his hat of honor slices.
Meat becomes the marrow of dirt.
Through crust and dew of a frozen window,
she watches only her flower garden, crying.
She likes to watch death saunter in, crying.
She turns into silk for proof in the power of linen.
He dons his work-worn cape to stand near by
fallen bodies healing backwards, falsely woven.

Edge-of-Town Fresco

In the water we wade without being made
and can't be drawn, not in this dancing distance.

My habitable dog licks lye to survive tied
to the backyard during puzzling seasons. He tests yes
for the water-can't-touch-floor conspiracy.
My own daughter was merely a memo droplet.

Reading books backwards makes for hazy pointed minutes
where the wind wisps lightly, the sun slants just right,
bees surround a bonnet: this perfect afternoon.

Closer to central, grocery store clerk lies on the counter
in her depressed position, making guacamole from two
avocadoes and one garlic clove. The past is aplenty, mixing.

You are often frightened into going out on Saturday
because your neighbors do and will look hard
through your windows if at home, if lights on,
if garaged car, slack-jawed and telephoned.

Amy King's new book, Antidotes for an Alibi
will be available later this fall from Amazon.
Other work is forthcoming soon from Explosive
Magazine, Brooklyn Rail and Snow Monkey.
Please visit for more.

2004 Underground Voices