Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby


(speaking in tongues)

Amanda Auchter is the founding editor of Pebble Lake Review and the author of The Glass Crib (winner of the Zone 3 Press First Book Award for Poetry, judged by Rigoberto González). Her writing has appeared in American Poetry Review, Best New Poets, Indiana Review, The Iowa Review, Pleiades, Poetry Daily, and elsewhere. She holds an M.F.A from Bennington College and teaches creative writing and literature at Lone Star College. Auchter will read from The Glass Crib at an awards ceremony on September 15 in Gentry Auditorium on the Austin Peay State University campus in Clarksville. The reading begins at 4 p.m.


     (speaking in tongues)

If in my failure to begin each prayer with O
Father, let me still wake to ignore the beauty

of lampposts, but fall in love with the artificial
eye. If inside of me you find there are no vaulted

ceilings, no bright stained glass, but thimbles,
buttons, a flask, let the illuminate still find me

as I thread and mend. If in these past years
of hazards, wildfires, high winds, my panicked

heart, I have lost track of you, then let me
listen for the heat flicker of your voice,

a sign, the echo of apparition, the difficult
matter of flesh rising from thin air. God,

if you’ve lost your way of speaking, have slid
inside my folded palms and slept,

let me speak for this silence, this room cured
of darkness. Let me speak of belief,

its small sounds in the distance, its ear,
its tongue, the quiet murmur of flood and field.