c a l l i s t a    b u c h e n



Bring me to the hills.

You learn to think in breath.

I have been looking. I have been digging. I have been carrying stones.

My greatness is something like a riverbed.

Other lungs exhale questions.

My mother said I would grow up to steal cars.

It isn't fair, the way I'm saying it.

I don't see the mountain even when I'm bent, fingers in the brush.

Where are the buckets? Where is the well? Who has lifted the rain?

I'm saying it.

You must stop counting the noises. There isn't enough soap.

My father didn't speak.

When it gets loud, crawl away behind your skin. Leave your face.

Below. Cheat.

Pull back the curtain each time you hear a car. Check.

All the hills amount to burial mounds.

In. Out. Gasp. Wisp. Air, air, air.

I am the grounding.

A commercial about a movie: men take the children from a school bus and bury them

Say it.

God, is she breathing. Go check to see if she is breathing. Is she breathing.

My hands hold the hills.

There is always another layer of skin.

You will have to gather them first, run from the door, through the yard.

An article about a man and a chainsaw: By then, she had joined her husband in death.

I need a tighter stitch, a tighter sieve.

The exhale of a fist.

Just a long line of rocks and sand.

The hands of my mother, the hands of my father.

How will you get everyone out. Say.


You can't get away from the knuckles.



CALLISTA BUCHEN is the winner of DIAGRAMís essay contest and the Langston Hughes award. Her work has appeared in Blue Mesa Review, Arsenic Lobster, Thrush, Bellevue Review and many others. She teaches writing in Kansas.

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