Michael Schmeltzer



In the City of No Children  


Her open palm—

a map of panic.

Beneath the surface a sewer                  of nerves

fevers the flesh. Flushed,

the mother wipes her forehead

and calls out      the name

of her daughter.

The name

of her daughter

echoes                 like leather

to a slaughtered cow.


The mother claws

the middle of her palm

until blood like a divination  

guides her onward.

A thin dog tugs on a scarf. The black cloth

rips, mimics

the sound of a struck match.

Delirious, the mother spins

as if the sound of a fire lit

were the voice

of her child

rising from the wreckage.  



Photo Credit: Staff