Poetry

The Carving Station and Bronco Busting

by Jessica Tyner

 

The Carving Station

 

Miguel fed me sips of whiskey as he stitched
a nadie te pareces desde que yo te amo
across my rib cage in between
moles and scars and halting English,
discarded fragments of the cancer.
In the undergrad days,
my professor said always, always
have beautiful words –
other than your own –
running through your head.
You don’t want to wake up
locked in solitary confinement alone.
Every day comes in the end.
The malignancy is the shackles, you
were the padded walls
and a Chilean poet was my grasping hope
escaped from my slipping mind,
a pedestal beneath carved breasts.

 

Bronco Busting

The years whipped strap burns through my fingers,
gnawing on slippery palms as I scrambled
to tie-down rope you,
a cowboy cinching a calf’s noose.
We were in Pendleton,
the last stop on a lifetime of pulling leather.
You bought me a Stetson and snapped
roll after roll as the Indians strapped
on paper numbers and feathers,
dancing for the white crowds.
You,
above my huckleberry, I thought impossible
to break –

clove-hitched to my post
as I slipped hobbles over your boots
in our heat-soaked boom town,
manure cloying as a perfume.

 

*****************************************************************************

 

Jessica Tyner is originally from Oregon, a member of the Cherokee Nation, and has been a writer and editor for ten years. Currently, she is a copy writer for Word Jones, a travel writer with Mucha Costa Rica, a writer for TripFab, a copy editor at the London-based Flaneur Arts Journal, and a contributing editor at New York’s Thalo Magazine. She has recently published short fiction in India’s Out of Print Magazine, and poetry in Slow Trains Literary Journal, Straylight Magazine, Solo Press, and Glint Literary Journal.

 

 

Art by Sheila Lanham

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