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You know this world well: green rows heavy
with August heat and humidity, ears bent,

silk brushing the ground, or shredded brown stalks
dry with shrunken kernels scavenged in late fall

by wild turkey or herds of white-tailed deer.
You never shy away from the sudden shapes that appear

shorn in the fields, waves of stalks woven into circles
and split spheres. Even now, when farmers frown,

as a V of geese veers away, you listen to the humming,
a low drone that buzzes like insects that cling to the light.

Your fingers tingle, your shoulders ache, you feel
a strange pulse in the veins behind your ears. You toss

your shoes to the wind, throw yourself into cartwheels,
one turn after another and another and another.

Hard ground tears at the palms of your hands,
bites the bottom of your feet every time you land.

Above you, a single crow caws a shrill warning,
a hunting beagle suddenly bays a half a mile away.

But you keep turning. You know the twisted stalks
will teach you how to bend without breaking.

Karen J. Weyant's speculative poetry has been published in Arsenic Lobster, Caesura, Cold Mountain Review, The Devilfish Review, Strange Horizons, and Whiskey Island. When she is not writing, she enjoys exploring the speculative regions of the Rust Belt.
Current Issue
4 Dec 2023

“Ask me something only I would know.” You say this to your wife because you know you’re human. You can feel it in the familiar ache in your back, and the fear writhing in your guts. You feel it in the cold seeping into your bare feet from the kitchen floor. You know you’re real because you remember.
now, there is the shape...humanoid, but not / necessarily human
He came from a salt mine that used to be solid all the way through
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