Issue No. 6, Autumn 2013

Barbara Carter #1
Feathered #1
Barbara Carter

Prey
W.F. Lantry

Open your eyes. The beast prepares to feed
her sightless eyes now burning heatless coals
cleansing her heart and yours, taut skin more red
than any bronzework cauldron, where the dead
allow their weary, frayed, contorted souls
to brew together, liquor distilled here

and drunk in ritual by torchlight, clear
and sweeter to the huntress than her name
on those eternal lips. Now her mouth tears
your shoulder’s flesh, as, wailing, she declares
accustomed ecstasy renewed, the same
each time for her, but only once for you,

her chosen quarry, grounded. There are few
she deigns to hunt, the antlered stag, gazelle
of forests, taken carefully, by swift
motions of ceremony, now a gift
to meet the hunger spelled voices compel
and only she can hear. Your role? Provide

her sustenance, until frenzies subside:
until she’s sated, and the harsh caress
begins to slow. The song within her breath
gives you to understand this little death
is like rebirth. There’s always more. She’ll bless
each wound, and touch them, as they, healing, bleed.


W.F. Lantry, a native of San Diego, received his Licence and Maîtrise from L’Université de Nice, M.A. in English from Boston University and PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Houston. His poetry collections are The Structure of Desire (Little Red Tree 2012) winner of a 2013 Nautilus Award in Poetry, and a chapbook, The Language of Birds (Finishing Line Press 2011), a lyric retelling of Attar’s Conference of the Birds. Recent honors include the National Hackney Literary Award in Poetry, CutBank Patricia Goedicke Prize, Crucible Editors’ Poetry Prize, Lindberg Foundation International Poetry for Peace Prize (in Israel), Atlanta Review International Publication Prize, and in 2012 the LaNelle Daniel and Potomac Review Prizes. His work has appeared widely in print and online, in journals such as The Wallace Stevens Journal, The Valparaiso Fiction Review, Asian Cha, Descant, Gulf Coast and Aesthetica. He currently works in Washington, DC. and is an associate fiction editor at JMWW. More at: wflantry.com.

Barbara Carter is a visual artist living in Nova Scotia Canada. You can visit her website at: barbaracarterartist.com