Lori Lamothe

Butterick & Co., 1864

Out of the dark swath of sky
I cut the shape of death

lay a tissue paper pattern
over a soldier's life.

All night the factory shines.
Squares of light
waver across the river.

In this cathedral of war
I kneel before wool.

The machine's needle endlessly
repeats its rosary of hope

but the sound of water
roars in my ears.

I stand at the window
watch white running indigo-
dye that will bleed red in Virginia.

Yesterday a letter written
in an unknown hand.

I run my fingertips over ink
can't find a pulse.

Lori Lamothe has poems and reviews forthcoming in Barn Owl Review, Eclectica, Linebreak, Switched-on Gutenberg, mostlyfiction.com, and other magazines. Her chapbook, Camera Obscura, is available from Finishing Line Press.

"I don't have a front porch right now. In fact, I've just realized there have been very few front porches in my life. Or back porches. Perhaps there is a front porch in my future? In the meantime the balcony off my bedroom is a fine substitute. This summer my eight-year-old daughter and I would sit out there under the night sky and tell stories about dolphins, mermaids, and various other creatures, imaginary and real. We also tried to read Nancy Drew mysteries by flashlight but that didn't work out too well."


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