ISSUE 5 · FALL 2010
Molesting the Legend
Criss-crossed over a calendar of Sundays, unsuspecting,
lazy days of partly cloudy and windy, sunny hours,
a team of adolescent seers scours the muddy pavement
of thatched river roads, where the people
who watch animals’ curing pelts
morph into paychecks on telephone poles
take no heart in magical occurrences
beyond the still-existent fur trade.
There the young seers gather squirrel bones in a chitterlings
carry between them. With femurs and vertebrae,
the children erect skeleton towers
until the collected remains are used,
and a city of roadkill or natural causes
sprawls down the dirty street.
Whole fields of ants begin
to populate the wobbling structures
as they strip the structures
to the beams of bone, cleave the carrion fragments.
But the ants pour. They pile
and confine their metasoma in a poisonous mess,
yet the Tiresias clan jeer and dance along
their new city’s limits even when
the basement of legs and mandibles gives out
and crushed ant carapaces ooze from the squirming statue
like wet concrete. Mothers soon come
with brooms and dustpans to clear the prediction—
the way gypsies cover their trochomancy—
and free themselves of both trespass and certainty.
Travis Blankenship has been the recipient of a Tin House Writers Workshop scholarship, the Jim Wayne Miller Poetry Prize, a Geoffrey McClevly Memorial Award, and a Bondurant Prize in poetry. His work appears in Artifice and Smash Cake magazines, among others. He founded the Goldenrod Poetry Festival, now in its 6th year, at Western Kentucky University. Currently, he is senior editor of The Yalobusha Review and an MFA candidate at the University of Mississippi.