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  • Writer's pictureLammergeier Staff

Two Poems | Kate Castellana

how i know i'm on the right plane

every man on this flight

looks like every one of my cousins

that is to say:

they are big men

with laugh lines and imperfect teeth

that is to say:

they all have slow fists but

being bred on sour milk and tenacity

they are all used to winning anyway

and the man seated across the aisle

who took pictures of me while I was sleeping

has the same look on his face

as Michael did while he sat at Aunt Lucille’s table slugging vodka after Daniel’s funeral (open casket

despite the hole in his head) and

when he heard me creep into the kitchen for water

he grabbed me by the hair and pulled

so he could cry privately into the crawling junction of my neck and shoulder

that is to say:

his touch was unwanted, hot and like any repeated wear does it roughened the skin for a long time

Ode to Mucormycosis

It took broken nails but I have learned that to bury is not

to fossilize. To fossilize

is to make permanent and holy,

with some intention of discovery and display.

To bury is to quiet, to work with soft dirt

and worms, with the hard flex of a shovel and reach

where old roots still curl

to touch, to sleep.

True, I did not want this so close to me still.

So I dug deep.

But not that deep. And I left it pale, bare.

I put it somewhere inside me, a place that is

soft, and breathes as all good earth breathes.

Somewhere it can be found

by growing things that delight and feed,

so that one day there will be no meat,

all bone, and then no bone,

just fabulous mulch,

nothing to excavate and mount on the wall,

nothing to dig up out of the backyard

to take home again, wondering.

Kate Castellana is currently a student of psychology and English. She attends university in the Pacific Northwest, where she won third place for poetry in the Teppola Creative Writing Contest. She is the co-president of her university's literary magazine, Argot. Her work has been previously published in Blue Marble Review, and Ohio State Lima's literary magazine, Asterism.



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