2 Poems by Beatrice Szymkowiak

The Sacred Heart Panel
Chauvet Cave

red redder dots bloom
crimson pulse by the torch

drip sweat & pulverized
ocher into thirty thousand

years press your palm
against mine how long

before your creases mold
my hand into yours red

redder dots pulse by the torch
drip sweat & pulverized

years to limestone
palm against mine

lest breaths dissolve
our carbon dated hand


sweat rots our wooden bed — I lie down — rock-dwelling rounded-eared pikas die —
above 78 degree Fahrenheit heat — causes blood vessels to expand — how far — moles
burrow deeper underground — trees droop to gravel — Aristotle maintained Earth is not
flat — why do oblong shadows eclipse moons — clock dials liquefy — their golden darts
without aim — crows hobble on molten asphalt — ice thaws faster at glacier base — where
pressure is higher — my hand swells into yours — under hot humid conditions round hay
bales — can spontaneously combust — at which temperature do we ignite

About the contributor

Beatrice Szymkowiak is a French-American writer. She is the author of RED ZONE, a poetry chapbook. Her work has also appeared in several poetry magazines, including the Berkeley Review, the Borderlands Texas Review, OmniVerse, Permafrost magazine, the Portland Review, and Ellipsis. She graduated with an MFA in Creative Writing from the Institute of American Indian Arts in 2017.

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