Mortal Combat

by Kim Keith

Shimmy-shake lifted on a flute
and winding relentless down dunes:
side to side infinity glide sifting through.

But murder is not silent—it rattles and spits
a venomous tune of rustic diamonds
and arrowheads. Darting.

Fanged swelter,
slower now; arrogant muscle
as a tense specimen seething like eight
raised up a few degrees, tilted

to a blood orange sky. Quickening.
Like sand flowing southerly
and instinctual, patterned

only after scales and rough patches
of grass scrubbed into the bleak
heat and rubbed along the belly
coarsely unyielding to time
or warnings or the tumbleweeds.

Striking. Rubber-mouthed,
swallowing eternity to splinter off pieces
along the way. And spring-retract

back into the hole to coil again.
Molt away, grow a new face
and live potent as only death can.

Kim Keith lives in a four-dog-thee-cat-two-ferret-one-teen-daughter zoo; therefore, she would like to know what she would do with some spare time. She is an associate poetry editor for Hayden’s Ferry Review and a contributing member of the Arizona State Poetry Society’s East Valley chapter. Her most recent work can be found in journals including Fissure Magazine, Kerouac’s Dog Magazine, Barrier Islands Review, and Skive Magazine.

Back to Issue Ten: Winter 2011