AFTER THE SHAPE OF THE EARTH CHANGED
Ragged roost of loose feathers, twig shadows.
Sparrows fly away, return as Little Brown Bats.
The missing children of the world
where the still river sinks deep,
and turkey vultures gather on the spongy bank.
Orphans in muddy mire,
where dreams live in stagnant slosh
and survive on bottom fish.
Hands curled like embryos,
mouth holes clenched shut,
swollen and fleshy with tuber odor.
A damp beginning in a forgotten river,
waiting to free itself,
find an empty nest.
Hungry animals with dark needs hide among firs.
The four-footed find common ground
where the buck’s sleep enters a wolf’s belly.
All live differently, live.
—–by Lara Gularte
First published by The Bitter Oleander.
Bio: Lara Gularte was featured with an interview and 18 poems in the Autumn 2014 issue of The Bitter Oleander. Her poetic work depicting her Azorean heritage is included in a book of essays called “Imaginários Luso-Americanos e Açorianos” by Vamberto Freitas. Her work can be found in The Gávea-Brown Book of Portuguese-American Poetry. Her poems have appeared in such journals as The Bitter Oleander, California Quarterly, The Clackamas Review, Evansville Review, Permafrost, The Monserrat Review, The Water-Stone Review, The Fourth River, The Santa Clara Review, and she has been published by many national and regional anthologies. Her manuscript “Kissing the Bee,” will be published by The Bitter Oleander Press in 2017. She is an assistant editor for Narrative Magazine.