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  Table of contents Issue Twenty I AM POULTICE


I am intimate with wounds,
I deprive gangrene,
a siren to gathering sepsis,
I infiltrate necrotic cabals.

A single-cell sin eater,
my function is sole:
I absorb poison like dye,
it transubstantiates within me,
a purification churn,
my pallor yellowed
by the draw.

I will harden off,
thickening plates will deny you,
your sores will drain
into my mouth
no longer. Let them suppurate
a crusty patch
on the unmoved dirt.




James Robert Rudolph is retired after a busy career in health care and education in Minneapolis, having returned to old haunts in northern New Mexico. He believes in old-style magical realism, inspired by the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the high desert, and the deep, broad sky of the American mountain west. Creatively he aspires to the crafting of work that expresses honest experience in beautiful language, complex or simple, as serves the work’s purpose. His poems have appeared in The Artistic Muse, Mad Swirl, Black Heart Magazine, Poetry Pacific, andPoetry Super Highway, among others.

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