Raylyn Clacher

Deer Heart

Let me be the sky you hold
in your surroyals, the hearth
you hang your head upon.

Anchor your antlers at my feet
like tree roots, perfect black eyes
fixed open, on me,

unwilling to shut.
Lay beneath me –
chest cleaved open,

heart apulse, the screaming bulb
of a newborn, not red,
quiet and true

like a cartoon. Ask me again –
will you open your palm,
give it a room, some place

to unfold?
 Family Portrait with the New Wife

She gloats from the picture
in her pride. Witches hang
from the mantle – a wedding

gift of rope, baubles, eyes,
pointed hats cast aside and boots
whose tops peek through the grass

like hungry cubs. New wife,
when you marry a cemetery
expect ghosts. Bones should not surprise.

Your husband seated next to you
shines, a magician high
off his latest trick.

Babies on the brain,
the dead witches clap
for his coup.
How We Make Peace

A fish is a flying thing,
no swimmer, I swear.
Those fins are sails,

made for air, not water.
The ocean is sky.
We walk in this water

we call ground,
stare up from the bottom,
hook the words that fly

with string,
hold them down

until they speak,
until we drown.

Clacher PicRaylyn Clacher is a poet, mother, and teacher living in Wichita, Kansas. Her chapbook, All of Her Leaves, was published by dancing girl press in 2015. Her poems and book reviews have appeared in journals such as the South Dakota ReviewNew Orleans Review, and burntdistrict, among others.