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For
every
bronzeback
and jack pike
the land
split into
a runnel
of
tears
                               Lake bottom fine as clay, finer than combed corn silk,
                               Appalachian Basin saline, seepage salamander skin.
                               Feet sink ankle-deep into buttermilk, aquatic worm nests.
                               A hummingbird boat buzzes by, limned with limestone
                               barnacles, drift grit, the past breaking water, hitting its circled wake
                               speed bumps airing earth; fiberglass Rorschach blots clung fast
                               as snails to the bilge—lung shapes, shacks, stumps
                               laid pungent on a hillside, waft of innermost mulch.
                               Woodpeckers describe what they’ve lost without the word
                               “habitat-tat-tat-tat”—draw an arc over a naked gulch,
                               write the effects of erosion where leaves were. The landlord
                               responsible a foamy-haired domestic, the absentee kind.
 

                                                                                                                          Woodpeckers’
                                                                                                                                        plaint
                                                                                                                                       wrung
                                                                                                                                        out in
                                                                                                                                             tub
                                                                                                                                       grime.

 

 

 

Wash

The hair, the eyes, the back
of the knees magnetize grit
spit won’t cleanse or creek cut
without detergent, yet slick
enough silt scrubs fine lines
smooth as a butter pat
of water or guppies that accept
and reflect every cloudprint.

 

 

 

Amy Wright is the nonfiction editor of Zone 3 Press and Zone 3 journal and the author of four poetry chapbooks. Her work appears in a number of journals, including Brevity, DIAGRAM, Drunken Boat, The Kenyon Review, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Passages North, and Tupelo Quarterly.

Photo credit: cplong11 via photopin cc.

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One Response

  1. Daniel Corrie

    I love the diction’s density (the poetry sometimes feeling like the heft of sculpture) and vigor (the poetry sometimes seeming like the agility of birdsong). The poet takes in the world’s tactilities and converts them to a sound of such neo-rococo inventiveness that the description becomes yet a new tactility: the idiosyncrasies of the world’s details become echoed as one mind’s perceptual/lingustic idiosyncrasies. The craft is taut, acrobatic and distinctive.

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