By Jonny Teklit

There Will Be Blood

They play until dusk,

until the dirt on their clothes 

can hardly be seen in the dim evening

glow, you know, the time when the sky

is a perfect sheet of cobalt 

and there are no stars, only the pale

glimmering eye of the moon,

only the fireflies, close enough

to clap between their hands,

their first foray into the sticky business

of snuffing a light. 

They leave the woods, their playground,

grab their bikes and pedal homeward,

cackling amongst themselves like a motorcycle gang

of hyenas, like there’s something in the air

and once they return to the familiar

streets of their neighborhood

they peel off, one by one, 

and return to their dens

where dinner has been waiting,

and when their mothers ask about their tardiness

they will lie, feign ignorance, act innocent, 

anything to protect their new and bloody

secret, shoddily buried among the trees,

where it will remain for several weeks

until a woman on the run

trail will chase her dog who took

off into the woods and when she finds

it sniffing about a grey wrist 

protruding from the earth like a sapling

of bone, she will think of how she should have moved

from this town a year ago like she had wanted to,

but, of course, she knows that 

here is no worse than anywhere else, 

for where there are boys,

there will be blood.

The Perennial Knife of Hindsight

Eternity, after a while, loses its weight. 

There are no more days or years, only time: 

unsegmented. Eurydice roams the face

of Hades, her memories unmoored from recall,

but, still, the turn of her lover’s face—

the unquieting knell of his doubt—

remains clear and ringing in her vision.

Even the song that cracked Hades open

is muffled beneath its toll. With a glance

he turned her into something not quite ghost,

not quite shadow, not quite wind chime,

but the cold breath that passes through all three.

Alas, she did not need eternity to learn

that a woman can be undone by a man’s disbelief.

Jonny Teklit is a winner of the 2019 Academy of American Poets College Poetry Prize as well as the recipient of the 2019 Aliki Perroti and Seth Young Most Promising Young Poet Award. Currently a reader for The Adroit Journal, his work has appeared in Lancaster Online and The New Yorker.

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