c o n v e r g e n c e:
an online journal of poetry & art


by Charles Curry

The flame danced inside its candle globe home like a living thing. Thora Angstrom watched it hungrily.

It had to have been two days now since Edgar had gone off hunting. She watched the door closely, studying its grain as if it were chicken tracks that crossed the paw prints in their dooryard.

His good suit hung on a peg at the back wall. Thora looked that over too. It was gathering crusts of fine down from the air.

She took the time to brush it clean and when that was done, she examined the belt that hung straight between suits.


She had helped prepare the leather that went into the belts, the hat and apron that came from an elk Edgar had fetched home soon after they had settled into the cabin. The leather had resolved into a border of tan color around a darker center stripe that marked it off from his other belts.

She hefted the striped belt off the wall and inspected it for a short bit. It was soft as skin but cool to the touch until she had flexed it in her hands a while. Then it was warm again. Almost like the living flesh it had been.

A bird fetched up against the window, rattling it. For a short instant she stared at the window and out of it, where she had stood so often to watch Edgar go and return. Now she turned to the sight of a pillar of dust swirling along the Brenner Mountain road, where Edgar had passed the day before yesterday, in the false dawn. For an instant now, she fancied she could see a rider outlined against the dust blown up along the same way.

She twisted the belt in her hands, testing its tautness; put it to her nose and took in the same bitter, pungent tang of the belt — ripe as aged cheese — over again.


Thora wrapped it around her hand, counting the layers it made. 1 2 3 4 5 — Six. The same as ever. It clung on her hand closely, a sensation so familiar she nigh well swooned —

Touched it with her tongue.

Now she slid the coils of old leather roughly over her hand, to hold it squeezed flat there, and she was moved suddenly to press Edgar's belt home between her legs —



by Pat Andrus

I won't break
the soldier's glance
at chocolate being licked
from her breast.
It seems his wooden door
has exposed a moon
for cravings
inside the cave
ribbed or veined,
and painted like
a teacup's bottom.

This abrasive wound,
this floodgate of desire.
How can I dance both?
How can I not lick the arrow,
the god my body grows from?
Look, a marigold
sprang from my painting
and flew to nearby wheat fields.
Such an ocean of pleasure.
So broken though by
December's rains.

I so hoped
you would feed
my bones
jump out of your shadows
rise from your father's ground.
My craving
now reeks of sour milk
and rainbows
to free
your wall
called love.

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