Poetry: “Thornton Dial and Flesh-Eating Beatles” by Carrie Meadows

Thornton Dial & Flesh-Eating Beetles

Two bobcats, a deer, a cow’s head,
a Labrador retriever, all in a heavy-duty
lawn & leaf bag. When the bones’ve
been cleaned by beetles, weight
and gravity disappear. If pheromones
spread to marrow, then ladybugs
will come here this winter to sleep
and die, leaving trails of yellow blood
like The Beginning of Life or footprints
on a museum map. How did slit paint cans
laced with t-shirt threads land here?
Were I to rise from dirt and water
at the canyon’s center, I would migrate
too. Emergence and a rubber glove.
We are all of each other, cut from diamonds
like continents. The sky is America
the Beautiful in an aluminum pie pan.
Help me punch the holes. Cut
the lights and hold the lamp—
together we’ll see Stars
of Everything. Slick me against water
like a boat’s deck, and thank you
for the baby breathing among the bones.

Carrie Meadows lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee where she teaches professional and creative writing. Her poetry and fiction pieces have appeared in North American Review, Prairie Schooner, Mid-American Review, and other publications. Find out more at carriemeadows.weebly.com.