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Poetry / Dane Hamann

Will the nearly broken world understand
how we each speak with an empty heart? Remember, our tongues are bullets. Our hands are black from rifle-fire. We eat the still-hot soil after we burn the animal inside our skin. We walk to the water with this bitter taste and find that iron floats. It blossoms in our mouths, then it hovers weightless in a deepening lake. Wolves have built a honeycomb island of skulls out alone in the water. There they cry and sing, howling in a garden of bone. They tear wildflowers from our bodies like sinews. Thirst for meat and marrow, the soft tomatoes of our ribs. You mend me with sutures of real grass when they’ve finished and before they come again. This could be seen as a cold kind of beauty, but instead I dream only that these bloody hours will finally end.

Dane Hamann works as an editor for a textbook publisher in the southwest suburbs of Chicago. He received his MFA in Creative Writing from Northwestern University, where he also currently serves as the poetry editor of TriQuarterly.