Wendy Taylor Carlisle lives in the Ozarks. She is the author of three books: The Mercy of Traffic (Unlikely Books), and Reading Berryman to the Dog and Discount Fireworks (both Jacaranda Books). She has published four chapbooks, the most recent is forthcoming from Platypus Press, UK. For more information, check her website 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.