About the Feature

As if a blueprint of author’s imagined
garden could begin without the 28 leathern paws
of 7 unassigned dogs halting, holding
their howls at the edge. If you draw me a map
I won’t find you. This poem is for the cartographer
offering an alternate arcadia, I mean, a third
arcana. I mean I believe in spoil, wineskins accelerating
unlit wars, ending ends. As if this poem
isn’t populated with obese angels and outsized
stars, muzzled strong-men. But this poem is also
for black smart phone screens not networked
or worked and inelegant without intelligence,
molly-mirror unreflective of the un-shiny other’s
intent, only an idea in abstraction upon lack
of electrification. This poem is clearly for myself
alone. My mother may have wrapped me in
a cloud. Because of this arrangement, I have
insisted on some theories regarding Ash and Hair.
Instead, I ask myself if I mean Vapor and Ocean,
Air. I got good at this somewhere and now I need
to get de-skilled; I am now only a spouse
to my true nature, a digger of foundation, fence
posts. True. I have stayed here long enough to
achieve, and now my arms are the arms of evident
strength. I really want to be the one in the kitchen,
inhaling mint, wetted basil: artifacts of exposed
hearth. Upon first encounter,
sugar was qualified as honey without bees. This seems to
suggest that strength—for a Cashiered Soldier or Bad
Poet—is only intention without integrity. Howls
echo in the uncharted empty even if the animals are
not near; the nature of the canyon is to act and act again;
reverberation. I mean to admit I remain
in the self-styled wild

not out of an attitude of endurance
but in avoidance of the ultra
charted zone, the solid city
structured and clay-hardened.
Upon identification of the subject,
I collapse. Just as I cannot kiss the counter,
I cannot, cannot caress the fur of the domestic dog,
I cannot even accept
the rope
that made the animal so,
can only
insist a cloud
cannot be contained
or rent



Image by Brian Butko.

About the Author

Candice Wuehle is the author of Curse Words: A Guide in 19 Steps for Aspiring Transmographs (Dancing Girl Press). Some of her poems can be or will be found in the Volta, Fairy Tale Review, and the Atlas Review. She lives, reviews, studies, and edits for Beecher’s Magazine in Lawrence, Kansas.