Boys with swords

in the forest. One is wood,
flames painted

to the hilt. Dry October,

of the papery eucalyptus.
One of them swings,

one of them ducks.
Wood on wood,

fracture in the line of fire.
It feels good

to hold a blade, I know.
Somehow cleaner

once you let it go.
Today they split nothing,

though not for
want of trying.




Lisa Gluskin Stonestreet's The Greenhouse was published by Bull City Press in 2014; Tulips, Water, Ash won the 2009 Morse Poetry Prize. Her poems have been awarded a Javits fellowship and a Phelan Award, and have appeared in journals including PlumeZyzzyvaThe CollagistBlackbird, and Kenyon Review Online. Lisa writes, edits, and coordinates the literary reading series Why There Are Words in Portland, Oregon. She’s working on the poems for her third manuscript, Annihilation, which is quite a bit less depressing than it sounds. (