by Kristin Gulotta


The scent of it is rich in white soups 
that make you tip the bowl for more
and walking in a wood you will 
find it only near the tough berry shoots where 
it lingers in a dust or drips on syrup stones
that you gather in a satchel
If it's lined with squirrel fur
it will keep for a year or more


A science long forgotten for reaching 
the base of the brain matter 
and the spirals that collect there
each ring is filled with tiny teeth 
that meet and chew the thoughts 
When these are straightened and realigned 
the teeth chip and new ideas spill out and spring
to a place behind the iris for clearer looks 


It is a way of knowing that the suns have shone all
when days pile on the earth and 
we set sail for far-flung feats 
and we creep and crackle and we see 
flowering crabs of darkest purple wisps 
that reach from the blue thin and sticky mist
This, and we know we’ve slept too sweetly in


This is the measurement of difference 
in a sunset cloud when it is red
to tell the boatsmen when to drop anchors 
or to take the catamaran 
so deep to where the fish are jumping and the sea 
will twist up greens and browny blues
When you add the age and space and abilities of speeches 
and mingle them in the shades 
you know what fronler meant 
when he gave his method that name


It has the sense of a gourd sometimes dried, sometimes fresh 
that is hollowed out and placed beside the fire 
if it stays unfilled and does not rot 
the cicadas will mill around and eat the crops
if you wake and see new seeds inside 
take four spiders and make a paste  
to throw on the embers with a cooling wine 
Sometimes babies cry at these sounds and are 
hushed by the long hair of their mothers 

Kristin Gulotta lives in the Midwest and does lots of writing tutoring. She is currently working on her undergraduate poetry thesis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she is also on staff with the Madison Review. Her work has appeared in REDzine, Vapid Kitten, and other fine journals.

Though she recently had the great honor of tasting durian, the king of fruits, its fishy aftertaste precludes it being her favourite. Instead, she prefers apricots picked fresh by the shirtful from a tree in Sambuca di Sicilia.

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