Laton Carter


The diseased oak, its stoic body
an imperative don’t look at me,


is hoisted by a crane for the gathering crowd.
The cumbersome figure slung in the open


hangs from the treeman’s cable
now stories above the severed trunk.


Tonight I am cold.

What is one less body in the world? I orphan

all my children once every year. I have to —
what room would there be for the newly born?


Persistence and determination are omnipotent.
I gave my life up as model proof. And now


I know: only the acceleration of time is omnipotent.
The living flirt with directness, but the dead possess it.


Laton Carter’s Leaving (University of Chicago) received the Oregon Book Award. Recent work has appeared in EntropyJet Fuel ReviewNecessary Fiction, and Sycamore Review.

 … return to Issue 11.2 Table of Contents.