a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
dogs tread water for days, kicking their legs
in a soup of basketballs and lawn flamingos.
The rain refuses to stop as the hounds swim
in sky and silt. They swim in a cyclorama
of bull-nose catfish that tickle their ankles.
And when the waters withdraw, they land
on rusted-out Camaros. They land in limbs
of cypress. They land on Huey P. Long
Bridge. The water-logged bodies of fleas pile up,
the dogs are not fazed by the dead. They shake
the water from their hides and howl
in unison. They turn snouts to sky
to inhale unmeasurable amounts of wind,
but they cannot smell their way home.
So, they gather in packs of Chihuahua,
Corgi, mutt, and Great Dane to hunt hotdogs
from 7-Elevens. They push mud aside
to snap up crawfish and endure claws
to tongue to swallow them whole.
They wrestle wolves and foxes and bears
for the bodies of the beasts that did not survive.
Amanda Brahlek left the orange groves of her childhood to live in Lake Charles, Louisiana where raindrops weigh as much as small children. She attends McNeese State University as a poetry candidate in the MFA program. Her work has recently appeared in The Cossack Review, 3Elements Review, and Gravel, and is forthcoming in the Crab Orchard Review. She is the 2016 Allison Joseph Poetry Award winner.