Diana Arterian


         It    does     not           gather    up                  plunge
               It     may be     slow          like     a     dance
               as a     heartbeat                                slower


One morning my mother
wakes up and looks out

her bedroom window
to the backyard

She sees tracks below
in the fresh snow across

most of yard
They are a man’s tracks



I am home for Christmas
When letting the dog in

I notice what I think
look like bootprints

going down
around the house

to the flight of stairs
leading to the backdoor

It looks as if the person
stepped on that bottom step

uncertain about whether
to ascend

My sister goes to inspect
They are dog tracks

The dog went around back
but with bad hips

she can no longer climb stairs
She must have paced here

at the bottom


     Violence is              the heart                       of it
       A sure hand             all             its capacity
   Violence whistles          sparks          The hand
                            clawing       windfire

Diana Arterian is currently earning her PhD in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Southern California. Her chapbook, Death Centos, was recently published by Ugly Duckling Presse, and her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Black Warrior Review, Two Serious Ladies and The Volta, among others.