archives fall 2007



Animal Engine

Turning the key shuts down the engine, air conditioner, the radio, the things that don’t distract anymore, that we’ve become accustomed to, talk over as if they were sound tracks laid on the discs of our lives. In the silence, our breathing sounds like a small herd of antelope trapped in this car, loping breaths as if we’ve been running, as if we’d been herded into a three sided canyon, stopped still, dumb founded by our own pumping muscles. He says, “It’s the third element that matters, the one that completes the equation, that computes to love.” This engine gone still still hums hot underneath us, our bodies receding in their own dying geometries, but our voices go soft and breathless as a turning key, a fading song, a last rush of air, the tufts of hair on the swiveling ear of a lone animal listening hard for the first wind of an idea.  



Laura McCullough holds an MFA in fiction from Goddard College and has won two New Jersey State Arts Council Fellowships, one in prose, and in 2007, one in poetry. Her second collection of poems, What Men Want, is forthcoming in 2008 (XOXOX Press). Her first book, The Dancing Bear was published in 2006 (Open Book Press). Her chapbook of prose poems, Elephant Anger, can be found online at Mudlark. She has just completed a first novel, Finding Ong’s Hat, and is at work on a second.