Poems of the Week


Twelve in Yellow-Weed at the Edge

Then, the police arrive—they don’t find me.
I’m disguised as a boy in a champagne wig
And hid inside the gold rattle of a warm Appalachia wind.
Beneath the trash of willow, I am. The sorrow
Of trailer parks and carnie uncles. The poor
Girl’s underworld, a weedy thing. The night,
With its kingdom of lanterns and awful blue lark.
How we waited, how we hid
Like wolves, in the revolving question of a field.


Into the ice-ravaged ragweed and phlox
I vanished.

Goodbye to the Ever-
Blonde Empire,

Its feather gowns and endless
Blue lanterns.

When I reached the jeweled nettle,
I abandoned

What little was left and entered
The silence in the orchard.

You Will Be Like Your Dreams Tonight II

I discovered father’s shotgun.
Dug it out from the earth like a tooth.
There was one worm in particular.
Moving, the raw pink of it
Looked like the skin of my own mouth.
I killed it with the stud of my bracelet.
Then entered the hall of the house like a son.

from Ruin, Alice James Books, 2006.

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