Georgia O’Keeffe’s Summer Days, 1936 – Karen George


Massive skull hovers high in a smoke-white sky above a rippling line of copper-colored sand hills. Dark cavities cradle eyes, a line lengthwise bisects the tapering muzzle. Magnificent antlers fork, two trinities. A god ascends to a throne in the afterlife. Below, yellow and red desert flowers, a ritual offering.


Under an oak tree, a jawbone we name coyote or lynx—the words exotic, risky. We bury its two long canines on a creek island, place Queen Anne’s lace over dirt we stamp, our soles molding puzzle patterns. Imagine the teeth, seeds to sprout full-grown mammals come spring. They’ll slink from slumber dens—hissing, howling to their clan.

Karen George is author of five chapbooks, and two poetry collections from Dos Madres Press: Swim Your Way Back (2014) and A Map and One Year (2018). Her work has appeared in Adirondack Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Salamander, Naugatuck River Review, and SWWIM. She reviews poetry at Poetry Matters: Visit her website at: