Sunday Jun 23

Macri-Poetry Angie Macri’s recent work appears in Sou’wester and The Southern Review. An Arkansas Arts Council fellow, she teaches in Little Rock.



Regard the red, spread
in the garden as open chambers
of the heart. It’s the monarda,
bearing avenues of nectar
for the ruby-throated
hummingbird. It’s the new growth
of the rose. The atria of daylilies relax,
filling. The male cardinal contracts.
Mother, red is moving everywhere,
pushed by a pulse akin to yours
and mine, a concert of organs, blood
made of the inside of our bones, lush
with oxygen, and thus red, not ruby,
rose, or crimson. Who named the Indian pink,
which blooms nothing but red
under its lining of yellow stars?
It must have been a heart focused
on some other place. Grafts have formed
new paths for blood to flow in three
byways. The red-bellied woodpecker
cracks seeds on a trunk and feeds their hearts
to her fledgling. Who named her?
Who could see her red stomach hidden
in gray? Mother, watch them play, changing direction
in flight. When the beat slows, without
our even knowing, the leads on the surface
of your heart shock the organ into its right
rhythm. Don’t say I shouldn’t hold you too tightly.

Quadriga: The Triumphal Progress of Columbia

Two girls, sisters, walk on their way,
while the third (for whom I am named)
holds it, folds it into her brain
like pencil strokes, like a fountain
of cast iron.
Two panthers stand, bronze
on Indiana limestone, and grander
yet four Doric columns
and an arch for soldiers, sailors, a war
in which the girls’ ancestors
had no part.
There are Lafayette and Lincoln,
all far from the Midwest
where I will be. The sisters
don’t care this was a revolutionary battleground,
don’t note the oaks
or elms but take each other’s arms
on a Saturday
away from the switchboard
and the bra assembly line, a day of rose
lipstick shared,
on each other as if drawing
small hearts that will wear
off in time, then will be reapplied
at the water’s
edge, at the forest’s
edge. Their parents’ world is behind
the ocean to their east, and what will be my world
is to their west. By chance, I hold
one name and give the second
to my child,
the other lost until I find the ship’s list
and the census page.
They record the oldest
girl, who progressed across the Atlantic
to her father with the roll of waves.

A Mind Made Up
            after Lorca

Warmth rises on the equator
and travels north and south,
falling again in the horse latitudes.
The doldrums hold a calm.
I made up my mind
and would not turn back.
What is the Tropic of Cancer,
the Tropic of Capricorn?
My teacher said I would
learn these later.
Yes, I learned: the shifting sun,
the solstice do not wait.
We orbit and we flux. The sun
stood overhead at noon,
the horn on bone and claw on sand,
quartz hard against all weathering.
I made up my mind
and would not turn back.
Dead winds, pressure, lines
on maps and always later,
I loved all and on my own.
I rode with the axial tilt.
I rose on the equator
and traveled north and south.