Montreux Rotholtz: Three Poems


Feast Day Fair

The blue church smoked.
Stiff and blest, we shook

our cloaks out and cut
camp. It was dawn,

the sheep going left
then right in panic,

ewes trembling under
trestle tables. The feast

was spoiled—a wreck
of meat and copper.

The image of the saint
half-sunk in tallow, tilted,

and bodies, three of them,
still wearing their crusted

habits. The stilt-walker
swung in his tree.

Smoke Signals

Visiting ear on top, peril
watered down, of whitened form,

milieu vinegared,
shared while the lipsnatch hovers,
the promised spit of heaven.

Sugared be the beet, the red ant,
the spiked border,

and intimate the oscillating
thumped hip, feigned,
the smoke learning.

World’s Fair

In the string-light glow,
I laid provisions

on the pressure ridges
and in the dunk tank,

a steam membrane,
a giant cloud

darted with oranges.
Wild rice in the ilk.

Wind split the pavilion,
coiled the century around.

Montreux Rotholtz is the author of Unmark, selected by Mary Szybist as the winner of the 2015 Burnside Review Press Book Award. Her poems appear in Boston Review, Prelude, jubilat, Lana Turner, Fence, and elsewhere. She lives in Seattle.