Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

“Center Hill”

Book Excerpt: Savage Flower

Center Hill

Moon lilt, sloping to shore — tonight
the lake is quiet as a glass of water set

by the bed. Midnight thirst, throat smoked
like straw catching. Matted grass pulsing

like tongues underfoot. Are you here?
Is it quiet? Can I tell you now, there are

bodies sunk in this lake? Let me show you
the chimney ghosting ten feet deep. Before

I came to the water, I was told a man wrapped
in barbed wire was thrown from the bridge.

Even the most beautiful things are full
of our blood. This holler is heavy with sacred

stones and broken glass; its mud was once
a valley — like prayer, waves fall back against earth.

“Center Hill”

Copyright © 2021 by Anna B. Sutton. All rights reserved. Anna B. Sutton was born and raised in Nashville. She received her B.F.A. from the Appalachian Center for Craft at Tennessee Tech and her M.F.A. from University of North Carolina Wilmington. Her debut collection, Savage Flower, was the winner of the 2019 St. Lawrence Book Award.

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