The Fourth River

Poem: “Beheaded Deer, The Power Lines Near Brewster Lake,” by Kate Belew

By on October 7, 2016

From The Fourth River, Issue 11


Listen to Kate Belew read “Beheaded Deer, The Power Lines Near Brewster Lake”


It was too late by the time the last sparks flew.
I had already been tangled in the webs
of fire wires and crashing electricity.
It was as if the hand of god
had bent down and squeezed
my soul out like it was soft sea
foam. The black char left
on earth’s stomach.

I let my body keep running.
As if I didn’t need eyes.
As if I could breathe through
my wounds. As if I was opened up
through maggot mouths
to the god forest and set free.

When the girl comes to look for my head
set apart from the charred skin
I will speak from my thinning legs.
My tough skin. She will think she imagined
my headless gaping stare.
My legs pumping. Empty shoulders.

I am lighter fluid.
I left my skull behind me
burning as I made my break for it.



Image: “A Torch to Light My Way,” by Thomas Hawk



Kate Belew is currently living in Brooklyn, NY where she is a poet who works at The Alchemist’s Kitchen in The East Village. But she’s a Midwestern girl at heart. She attended Kalamazoo College in Michigan where Diane Seuss taught her everything she knows. She has interned with Sundress Publications, Poets in Print, Poets House, and The National Book Critics Circle and has been published in journals such as The Greenbriar Review, Mochila Review and Moon City Review among others. When she’s not writing she can be found hula hooping, planning her next adventure, or reading tarot cards.