Lodestar Quarterly

Lodestar Quarterly
Figure reaching for a star Issue 1 • Spring 2002 • Poetry

Who Has All The Answers Knows This

Melissa Fondakowski

Rack one left for each thing killed:
two rabbits, four frogs, tadpole, tadpole, tadpole,

and uncountable minnows and earthworms,
hooked to catch, of all fish, pumpkinseeds,

those throw-backs, those urchins, those clubbable quicksilvers.
And never forget the one dog who charged in front of a bike tire

during a downhill race, who, at first, everyone
gasped at, then laughed at, because you rode the road

for fifteen feet, your face a mess of berry-colored blood
we later discovered was mostly the dog's, from his mouth,

who looked cut in half, even though the skin hadn't broken.
You had to carry him, like a bride, to the threshold of the house

who used to own him, thinking stupidly, the hardest part
was getting to the door, not walking through it, limp dog

hardening in the arms, gash on your cheek so perfectly etched
there was no blood, only pink tissue with rocks wedged

between lips of skin-- But you did not feel it,
because after the doorbell ring and the displaced air

of the door swinging open by the lady now framed
in the jamb trying to recognize the pile in your arms,

all you felt was the sinking of her eyebrows, like a ship,
and the alpenglow of grief. Eye to eye without words.

You hadn't had a word since you lost the race, like your voice
was what skin was missing from your cheek. You walked

the bike home after in the silence of your uphill breathing
to our house where we sat in a circle around the kitchen table

watching our mother pick at you with a needle;
a needle doused with alcohol then burned black

aimed straight inside the core of you, the place where a boy
used to live, starting to turn, like spoiling milk, into something else.

Melissa Fondakowski's poems have appeared in Natural Bridge Literary Journal, So to Speak, and others; and can also be found in the Winter 2002 issue of the online journal, Blue Fifth Review. Most recently, she won the 2001 Sow's Ear Review chapbook competition for her volume, Impatiens, which will be available in spring 2002.

Go To: Issue 1 or Lodestar Quarterly home page