About the Feature

* Header image from http://www.flickr.com/photos/rietje/3070821366/


When the cheetah is a little drunk
scent of fresh palms, gunpowder,
the landscape stretched between

the C-shaped rim of mountain,
something withers. In the dawn,
the binoculars hover upon certain

spots. Blotting acres of tin-roofed
hutches, hospices, goats, the discarded
world: glass-blown, fragile, colorless.

The jeep jostles tourists. Look, they
say: orxy, gerenuk, haboob
of hooves over savanna. Then gone

the tourists watch the pick-strummed
silhouettes, how light unwinds
not to be. Next stop: Merowe Dam,

electricity, they sigh, point out the Nile
relieved. The guide says, I have always
seen, just what I always see,

eats kisra, drinks water. Another fishes
from his knee a guinea worm,
he leans into his work, whispers

what to the Sahara. Yawning holes
to be had. He winds the worm
around the gauze, the length, the months,

sun cresting, hitting the yellow tilts
of village, all the graveyard elephants
and their distance. The stomping

can be felt for twenty-five miles, he tells
the tourists, drinks and winds
the worm a little more.

About the Author

Christa Romanosky received her MFA from the University of Virginia in 2011. She has been recently published in the Kenyon Review, Prism International, Drunken Boat, and Meridian. She taught the course “Gaga for Gaga; Sex, Identity, and Gender” and undergraduate poetry at the University of Virginia. She currently lives on a ranch in South Dakota.