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.
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.
Tagged: 2021 Southern Festival of Books, Book Excerpt, Poems