Wounding Anatomy

Nick Alti


Wild flowers like forest fires in the night’s iridescence
whisper elegies for the uprooted alder.
In the lachrymose starlight & warbling of murderbirds
this evening weeps the downed sky’s plight;
caught in the branches of the falling tree,
torn to the forest’s mud. Now the night sky
a checkerboard,
thin flesh moon & heart colored stars
illuminate the woodland dark,

made darker yet by the quick thwack of a longbow string.
An arrow carved from a horse’s ribcage
laced with hawk feathers soars insanely
spilling open the quiet of air’s throat.
For miles, the open world around you

Screams out a new quavering language. In the downed alder’s branches
you’re cupping a field mouse, whiskers lilting for mother, but
she left in the mouth of an owl who lives in the roof of a barn
where a toothless man crafts arrows from black forest horses,

arrows not unlike
the one which pierces
that tittering, hungry mouth
clutched between
your wet palms.
The blood
of the mouse child
is so scarce
you gather it
in a vial
& wear it
as a necklace.

Return to Fall 2018 Volume 10.1




NICK ALTI is an MFA candidate at The University of Alabama. He is from Stevensville, Michigan, and now worries about hurricanes instead of frostbite, but he is pleased to see southern liquor stores are more understanding with their prices. He has a tolerable if not unimpressive online presence on IG by the name of klonipin_stagram if you’d like to see him struggle to make adequate captions, which he considers his greatest artistic struggle to date.