Blood Feud in a Place Called Sometimewhere they fought over beans, over beans and bread, over who would be fed, and why, why one and not the other, why the child and not the mother, why the whys turning brother on brother, the hunger drawing bloody lines in the sand, the hands clawing skin man to man, where they shook their fists at the graying sky, and took up muddy shovels and picks and swords and sticks, where they faced off, pacing off to the count of ten, where the how and when rolled their eyes to blood, turned their bones to wood, turned their mouths to mud and their hearts to bread, the bread they wished they had, the need
now so bad, being all they knew, the cry for beans that would see them through, the hunger for more that made them run, dropping their sticks, to take up guns, to build up bombs in parking lots, to move from threats to warning shots, warning shots that fell like hail while the women wept and babies wailed, and shouting grew big as their hollow eyes, and the men with the bombs called themselves wise, saying we'll put a stop, an end to all this, the beans are ours and they flipped the switch, they pressed the button, they exploded the world, the curling blaze, the clouds and haze, the slash and fry, they scorched the earth and seared the sky, incinerating all of it, every bit, they burned the mothers and babies and sisters and brothers, the planet itself cracked and split, an end to the feud, at all costs by all means, boiling it down they showed them good, til nothing stood, not a single thing, between those men and a hill of beans.
Love Is a Ferris Wheelthe gears churning and clanking, the handles for pulling, the eyes like whistles, the fingers like bells, girls lingering in line in their faded soft cotton, the secrets eyes tell of what's hoped and forgotten, the boys shuffling boot feet, grinning and scooting, giving each other shit for the winks and the smiles, the whispers, the wanting, the lift just like longing, the rise and the rising for what feels like miles, the leaving, the breathless leaving the ground, the heart thump, the heart flare, the not caring what's right or allowed, the sky with no end opening up all around, the slowing, the slipping, the so close to knowing, the sway of the cart and the swing of your feet, the tremble beneath when the ground falls away, the stop at the top and the wanting to stay, there in the colors, so faded in daylight, but oh how they shine in that carnival night
Mary Carroll-Hackett earned an MFA from Bennington College, Her work has appeared in numerous journals including Carolina Quarterly, Superstition Review, Drunken Boat and The Prose-Poem Project. Her chapbook, The Real Politics of Lipstick, won Slipstream's 2010 poetry competition, and another, Animal Soul, was released in 2013 from Kattywompus Press. A full-length collection, If We Could Know Our Bones, was released from A-Minor Press in January 2014. Another collection, The Night I Heard Everything, is forthcoming from FutureCycle Press in Spring 2015. She teaches at Longwood University and recently joined the low-residency MFA faculty at West Virginia Wesleyan College. Mary is at work on a memoir.