Poems here are taken from Danielle Wheeler's collection tentatively entitled "Constellatory."
She recently finished her MFA in poetry at the University of Iowa, where she was also an
instructor. She has had work appear in Caketrain, elimae, and elsewhere. Currently she is
working on a project of poems inspired by horror films.

My Soldier

Your hands are honey
your summer is over. The ashes
come out of the barrel
we cook our fish in. They burn over the water
in a cloud. On the shore we chalk our faces for the rain that never comes
I turn it between my thumb and finger to dust

and you are riding home

Te extraño. You said you'd take me away to Mexico. The sun
is the setting of liars
and you are the few, the many.

Downright Evil

there is the son
the son did wrestling but he couldn't get signed.
he circles us now for nothing, in this heat

we are able to keep waking up every morning without prayer but
what's the word for
we think your child might be retarded

one, two, three,
jimmy plays. there's the word, in your mouth
our cat died to death metal

and there were always slamming doors
we put screens on the screens
but the bugs kept coming inside

he'll ride the bike with one wheel as far as he can
we'll kneel to his disappearing horizon
we'll eat the bucket of chicken in the parking lot


My brother he was born with a caul and knew how to fight

I painted my eyes black he painted his eyes black we said war but our war was not war with a view of the clouds on my back as we made lines into men and then he was a man some years later

I asked him things and he would tell me these were just words with the answers being something so sure and strong until he went away
and I had dreams

When the sea people were short on money they'd send us these bad dreams I dreamt he was dying and just needed a kiss

There are legends about our futures they said if you are born with a caul you will never drown and it was true he died in the air over the desert and when I'd ask him something again the clouds would part for an answer

Flood Letters

Dear Steve, I knew we'd end in flood.
Dear Rabbit,

Goodbye. Goodbye Train,
I knew you'd turn into Steve. Goodbye Father,

I knew you'd turn into Rabbit. Dear Rabbit,
in drinking and drinking the page keeps turning. Dear Monster,

Forgive the dreams of my father.
Dear Father, please forgive the dreams of my TV—

When the static comes up I'm sure I will see his face
The Captain of the Sea

And it is him and it is me—
It will now reveal my hair waving on the sail, singing, but

We sing for no reason. Goodbye,
Goodbye. Dear Captain,

You did the way captain's do
but I forgive you. You left a bit of me for them all

And that's all they seem to need.
And on the blue, a static blue—

If I could just leave it all
Dear Sea, I knew we'd end in flood, and he, and I, and you.

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