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William Auten


Listen to William Auten read "Dusk on the Sandias"

Dusk on the Sandias

—mimic of a cardiac flood
of pinks and valved reds.
It takes a tongue

around ghost molars
to find better words:
Were you expecting a grander

phrase than watermelons?
The hut high on the west
side has not been forgotten:

careful preservation of star
patterns on earthen walls;
broken vessels under glass;

lasting bite molds of children’s
teeth. But to move without
catalogued feelings, without

modest fires so neatly
their own centers…
Come out, come out, little ones:

The pines are more alive
in late spring snow. The power
grid is up; the old volume of night

passes without a dark mare,
her rider ignored on crisp plains,
whistling a serenade and nothing more.



Listen to William Auten read "With Wolves"

With Wolves

With wolves in a marked-out
plot of aspens; with the solemn
ritual of another creature—

me—slow to know the why
of a carcass. All the hollowed
space and private teeth turning

row along row of what keeps
twin myths together. Small, white stars;
small starts to run the fits of finding

spirit or ghosts on these trails.
Spring in the shoots by the saddled
creek. The bones will relatively

tell us what we want to hear
when they are ground into rings
of colors. Calcium rainbow

that will own the air and the woods
and the crows: and always the promise
of having been brought down.



William Auten's work has appeared in Blast Furnace, failbetter, Hayden's Ferry Review, Nimrod, Sycamore Review, and other publications. Work is forthcoming in Drunken Boat, Notre Dame Review, and Sugar House Review. His website is www.williamauten.com.
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