Matador Review

A Quarterly Missive of Alternative Concern

t. h. carter

they came wearing the bodies of children


Immediately they came to clear the scene, wearing the bodies and gestures of children: first they gathered around her husband and carried him off in pieces, starting with his face, then his legs and arms, like heavy furniture. Then they knelt beside her own children and wiped their faces, scrubbed away the colors and edges of their mouths, their understanding of what they'd seen, until they were featureless and smooth and she could not recognize them. Then they carried off the trees, the perpendicular
             car, the few scattered and motionless birds, carried off the mountain and sky until the world was empty. Then they turned to her, loosened the front of her body, coaxed her out, and when they asked her how she felt, she smiled, though she couldn't just then remember why.

T. H. Carter lives in Syracuse, NY, where he attends Syracuse University's MFA program and leads poetry workshops for high school students in the community. A Pushcart Prize and Best New Poets nominee, his poems can be found in The Seneca Review, Copper Nickel, Berkeley Poetry Review, and Birdfeast.