Carolyn DeCarlo

the car and the man inside

they were buried there,
the car and the man inside,
swept over with a blanket
of copper leaves
under the pavement
in front of the house
at the end of the street.

everyone knew about them,
the car and the man inside,
and even when we played
catch-the-toad
with the neighbors’ cars
we stayed away.

the closest we ever got
was the time eddie
pushed billy onto
the crack in the asphalt
where they came out from under
the pavement at night,
the car and the man inside.

the red leaked out of billy’s hair
into the crack and we all ran away
except sarah beth, who stopped to trace
his outline with sidewalk chalk.

billy had a seam of stitches
from neck to crown
when he came home.
his shoulders are still marked
on the pavement in yellow chalk.

 

 

the crows

a murder of crows
lands in the yard
behind the house.

for the mot part, they
peck at seeds in the grass
and scream.

one scratches its ear like a dog
while another watches
surreptitiously.

two wrap their wings
around one another
and cry.

it is common knowledge
that witches have grown
very fond of crows.

some are maintained
as pets or familiars,
keeping the witches safe.

some are left alone.
it is much more rare
for witches to harm crows.

though occasionally
their feet are needed
in various potions or brews,

witches usually choose to wait
for crows to die of natural causes
before using them in this way.

although witches and crows
can get along famously,
it is important to note that

crows have something of a temper.
in general, that’s why the pairing
of cats and witches

garners so much more attention.

it is easier for a witch to become famous
when she attaches herself to a cat.

the reasons for this are various,
but some would say it boils down
to this, when you think about it:

 

 

Carolyn DeCarlo (Baltimore, MD, USA / Wellington, NZ) lives in Aro Valley in Wellington with her partner and cats. She has a BA from Georgetown University and an MFA from the University of Maryland, College Park. She was included in the anthology AUP New Poets 5, and is the author of four chapbooks, most recently Green Place (Enjoy Journal, 2015) and Bound: An Ode to Falling in Love (Compound Press, 2014), which she co-wrote with Jackson Nieuwland and won Best Literary Zine at the 2015 Auckland Zinefest. She is a founding member of the Wellington-based reading collective, Food Court. Her passions include film, art, tattoos and plants.