Devil’s Lake

Fall 2011 Issue

Julia Madsen: Imperium

as in cold crucible or below the dirt, & pure, even, each opposite tending to its tether, as if caught, at the center, where the mouth of the sea, giving up the ore deep in the dirt to the sea, & burning rock, burning root of rock, the sun, like metal in the hollow of a furnace, overthrown, the sun as a holy hollow overthrown, hung between incorporation & separation, the shifting margin of sand washed over run over hence taken over, anything outside the eyes subject to waver, shifting when the neap is in & out when out, wherein you swing your leg over the seam of the sea, or spend turning, in every direction, the night, where back in your latent memory, light carries itself like a disease, & when you say fear is in the dirt, you mean it, & tears at the seam of the sun

St. Bartholomew

calx or calyxa bridge holding up the people

until a wind comes& it doesn’t

this is nothing the head of the asp

the fieldthe flowercrushed

one who crushes the head of the asp with his heel

then sits with the childor stretches the skin

over the fieldsettles it downas he will be shown

with his own skinnonetheless

White Flower

ball of wax or sun or lion of, the sun pinned on its side

where the wick, where one sits in one’s own pajamas, at the fire

close to the fire, which wraps itself into, & heats, melting, may still

smell of flower’s nectar, whiteness pressed out, things thin, press

out against, the thinning of the fabric, of paper, a wax lion, pinned

to the paper, on its side

a photo of the author, Julia Madsen JULIA MADSEN attended and received a degree in English from the University of Iowa. She is currently living in Rhode Island and attending Brown University’s Graduate Literary Arts MFA program in poetry. More from this issue >