Asphalt slag: Say a’a lava. A yard’s
dank swamp: Say pampas, a sawgrass marsh.
A man at stalk: Glad a man’s
at watch. A match’s spark: What warms
all dark. Tall grass. A vacant shack.
A gnat-clad lamp’s ash star: Aghast, say
at Mass, an all-day’s pray at an altar, far
away. An alarm call, a fatal
flaw: A gaff. A lark. A gag.
A gag—a bandana’s wad: Say what balms
a gasp. A car’s crank, gas, a way
away—a latch that stays.
A frat-chant, tap that ass: A psalm’s
mantra, a ballad’s
track. A lay? A bang? Say that flat—
a gang’s attack: A tramp
that asks. Law’s task, a warrant’s
ask: A grasp
at straws—stall a man’s start?
A slap: A pat. Claw marks: A back
scratch—talk, charm; a thrash,
that’s all. An arm’s
want’s wand, harm’s arc
at bay—say what was,
wasn’t. Scars, flashbacks, stats
that swarm, sad math: Say blank
and blank=blanks. Say abstract art
what chalk-drawn lays: Say
what’ll wash away.
Sandra Meek is the author of five books of poems, most recently An Ecology of Elsewhere (Persea Books, 2016), Road Scatter(Persea Books, 2012), and Biogeography, winner of the Dorset Prize (Tupelo Press, 2008). Her sixth, Still, is forthcoming from Persea Books in 2020. She is also the editor of an anthology, Deep Travel: Contemporary American Poets Abroad (Ninebark 2007). A recipient of a 2011 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry and the 2015 Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, she has three times been awarded Georgia Author of the Year in Poetry and twice the Peace Corps Writers Award in Poetry. She is a co-founding editor of Ninebark Press, director of the Georgia Poetry Circuit, poetry editor of the Phi Kappa Phi Forum, and Dana Professor of English, Rhetoric, and Writing at Berry College. Visit her at www.sandrameek.com.