I once heard that if you earn a black belt in karate
you have to register yourself as a "lethal weapon."
The water breaks into green and aqua as if a hand
has come down to split its waves in two,
chop of butchered rapids. I'm becoming more
& more lethal as I eat Chex Mix on the flat boat
with the dreamcatcher on its stern. Things
are picking up a velocity that carves a tide so
surprisingly tender into the wake behind us.
I don't have a black belt but once watched
a boxing match during which a man's forehead
developed, as the announcer called it, a hematoma.
I thought about that word for days; it heaves.
We pass mesas with crevices that open & close
like wings beating under a hot sun. I was born
to this sun, in the stars as a ram, but have
never felt it banking so hard on feeling important
to the people it touches. Beside me, a woman
with black hair who once saw a man get
beaten to death outside a BBQ.
It shouldn't be a struggle, the blueness of the sky.
To maintain, I mean. It shouldn't be a struggle
to maintain its traces of fury: all flat color & then,
in a single moment of heat, an outline of the moon appears,
so near to the sun.
— Kelly Forsythe
Kelly Forsythe earned an MFA in Poetry from Columbia College Chicago and has poems published in Columbia Poetry Review, The Minnesota Review and elsewhere. She lives in Polish Hill. Many writers featured in Chapter & Verse are guests of Prosody, produced by Jan Beatty and Ellen Wadey. Prosody airs every Saturday morning on 90.5 FM