Letter to America: Poem by Georgia Pearle

Letter to America by Georgia Pearle

One Poem

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Refinery I

Texas City


In my passenger seat she crosses
her legs, pulls down the sunvisor.

Near midnight, and the Perseids
send slow artillery across our sky.

We’ve got a full tank, driving past
the derricks and pump jacks;

the sucker rods bob in the fields
like bored horses. My uncle died

in that refinery, she says.
Chemical spill. No body left

to bury. Cousins got a settlement.
She flicks on the visor light

and keeps her gaze to its mirror,
lit, her own eyes on her own lips,

which she daubs a cimarron red,
her center fingertip bright and greased.




Georgia PearleGeorgia Pearle was born and raised in the Gulf South. An alumna of Smith College, she has been a coordinator of the VIDA Count, the digital editor for Gulf Coast, and the recipient of the Inprint Marion Barthelme Prize in Creative Writing. Her poems have appeared in Kenyon Review Online, Crab Creek Review, and Women’s Studies Quarterly, among others. She holds a CLASS Dissertation Completion Fellowship at the University of Houston, where she is a doctoral candidate in creative writing and literature. She is at work on a collection of poems as well as a memoir.

Header photo by ARMBRUSTERBIZ, courtesy Pixabay.

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