Four Poems


September 2, 2009 by The Citron Review

by Autumn Carter



a hand sliding into the
softly shrouded skeleton
of another

the wind pulling the dark
bruises of Jacaranda petals

a sidewalk where each foot
steps around these fallen warriors

but that has nothing to do with
the way the hand wraps around like
a chrysalis

or the other, whose violin fingers pluck
a bud from the tree just to place it
on the ground


Things We Find on the Ground

Bones of an old cow
buried in a cocoon of snow
unearthing only in the spring melts.

The surprise snort and spook
of the horse who lays his nose
too near the skull.

White petals on the Autumn Olive,
the impenetrable cloud of their scent,
like gnats hovering in shady places,
mixing with the diesel fumes of the tractor
where it lurches in the field.

An orchard of plum trees
where the black snakes nap in high branches.
We say the snakes rot the fruit—
it falls to the ground unripened.

The gray curves of plum branches
releasing their white carpet of petals,
a veil of children’s teeth, or bones.


Resolutions at the End of the World

Sleep was what we resolved to be.
You set the whole night burning in famished flame.
I am not an episode of wanting, I am
A soul with no back door.
We cracked the eggs in the pan,
The sun detonated so quietly
And we slept
The whole night, burning
In an episode of wanting. I am
At the back door with no soul,
Cracking like an egg,
Quietly sleeping as the sun detonates.
Or did it implode?
Famished, soulless, wanting.


If You Should Forget Me

Just remember this. Darkness skulks near
to the edges of light. Were my arms there to
entangle you? Out of darkness grew
this lonely thing that we weren’t meant to bear
alone. There is an automatic fear
that all god’s flowers will wilt. I knew
this dawning like a daughter, day’s few
sunlit hours surrendering to blue.
If you should forget me, do. And I you.
Know I will exile all the happy days.
Nocturnal will be your memory
until you swim in emptiness. Adieu
to tumbling in meadows, the smell of hay
clinging, how we lied so convincingly.


Autumn Carter writes poetry and is currently working on her first manuscript. She attends Antioch University, Los Angeles for her MFA in Creative Writing.

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Snow on brush in desert

IMAGE CREDIT: Jill Katherine Chmelko. Protest Road, Winter. 2019.

🍋Our Tenth Anniversary


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