issue 31 poetry

Georgia O’Keeffe’s Red and Orange Streak, 1919

by Karen George

Georgia O’Keeffe’s Red and Orange Streak, 1919

Against black sky
a red horizon
wavy on top
like painted hills
in the distance

A wide streak arcs a flame
orange, yellow, olive-green
from earth to sky
opposite of lightning

A cloud, or is it smoke, hovers
under the slanted span
feathered, hazy
a patch of moss

Trajectory of a bullet
blood vessel eviscerated
flatline on a monitor

Curved beak
a sword-billed hummingbird
scarlet tongue flicking

A vault of paint
slung into the dark

Intersecting orbits
two heavenly bodies
and a new, veiled nebula

Karen George, author of Swim Your Way Back (2014), A Map and One Year (2018), and Where Wind Tastes Like Pears (2021), has poetry in Slippery Elm (winner of their 2022 poetry contest), Adirondack Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Cultural Daily, Indianapolis Review, and Poet Lore. Her website is