WendyTaylor Carlisle lives and works in the Arkansas Ozarks. She is the author of five chapbooks and four books, includingThe Mercy of Traffic, (Unlikely Books, 2019) and On the Way to the Promised Land Zoo to be published later this year (Cyberwit.org, Allahabad, India.) Her work appears in the recent anthologies, Untold Arkansas (EtAlia Press, 2018,) 50/50 (Quills Edge Press, 2018), Star 82 Review Pocket Poems, 2019 and Fiolet and Wing (Liminal Books, 2019.) For more information, check her web site at www.wendytaylorcarlisle.com.
How do you know when it’s done? I admit the children
were wrecked but the sad man gave me reasons to remain—
the sex was sex, his blows weren’t all that harsh and he never
shot at me but once. It’s a gift, I guess, to know how to leave,
I keep my little principality tidy. Like Genghis Kahn’s nuns, I am a part of a war nation, having no real land or location, taking pain out in ever widening circles. Shouldn’t I travel as the hordes did, living off the conquered, carrying only my broom, a war nation against my own. It doesn’t take much really. You only have to be hungry and willing to do what it takes to get fed.