Antiphony
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

An unmarked plot for the nameless & unclaimed; the men at dusk with their buckets, picks, spades cleave the earth with dull-edged iron blades, lift dust & mud, rocks & severed roots. “Same

as always,” one says, when asked about his home. Few words to pass, till the hole begins to shape — just how or where. “No need for measuring tape, her knees will bend.” The night is like a dome,

but the hill itself grows hollow in the dark & hungry. Dirt collects, piles around them, like forgetting, some unknowable sound that leaves them digging faster for their mark.

You’re here, it says, remember that you were. But they pretend not to hear, bequeath the hill to her.

A low hill of grass, a hole of bones & thread.Soldiers at a checkpoint, guarding what they don’t know.& a river, a dark & moving resting place instead;where it cuts the city, the streetlamps’ orange glow,like tongues of flame — the holy spirit in surface flow.

& even now, a life defined by lack:with lungs of salt & nothing left to trade.Go deeper down, where less relies on slack.Above, stars more numinous than bladesof grass. Who told us not to be afraid?

A bone yard of pines, a boxcar of bones—weeds & Queen Anne’s Lace, dust rising off the roadlike an illness. Like smoke. Know:what rises moves away, not up. To watch it gois to know there are words more powerful than ‘no.’

Coins on her empty eyes. A ribbon at her throat.Forgive us, who watch from the duskedge green.These gates are not locked; these hands are not clean. [End Page 27]

Chuck Carlise

Chuck Carlise was born in Canton, Ohio, on the first Flag Day of the Jimmy Carter era. His chapbook, A Broken Escalator Still Isn’t the Stairs, is forthcoming from Concrete Wolf (2011 contest winner), and his poems and essays have appeared in Southern Review, Pleiades, DIAGRAM, Quarterly West, Beloit Poetry Journal, Hayden’s Ferry, and others. He is currently a fourth-year PhD candidate at the University of Houston and is a former nonfiction editor of Gulf Coast.

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