Image: “Restricted | U.S. Air Force” by B.A. Van Sise from his “Elsewhere” series. “Naming the Beasts” was written by Elizabeth Morton for Rattle’s Ekphrastic Challenge, July 2019, and selected as the Editor’s Choice.
Comment from the editor, Timothy Green: “That Tuesday being such a gorgeous late-summer day in New York, I was surprised at how many of the poets thought of September 11th when looking at this photograph. I assumed I wouldn’t select one of them—it just doesn’t fit. But then I fell in love with the turns and turns of phrase in this poem, and those two cows loping toward their fate, and I realized that it would have been late-winter in the southern hemisphere, the first buds of spring not quite appearing on the trees. That thought opened something up for me—something about the combination of vastness and interconnectedness of the world—and I’ll never think of 9/11 in quite the same way again. Eighteen years later now, I wouldn’t have thought that possible.”