I yield to the ache that overtakes me in this fallow field, red clay dust, the shattered bones of brittle cornstalks, seedless tassels tossed by the wind.
My body remembers you in fragments, echoes the way it arched and let go, fingering the drawstrings of each other’s fleece before mashing mouths, feeding
our hunger in beds of spring seedlings, shadows stretched long, a residue of stars and blue dawn inching in, the tone of finale opening our flesh, our spines.
Cool morning air, the color of yarrow, tingled tangled arms, and finches pricked themselves again and again to gorge on berries deep within the thicket.
There is a fragrance where skin meets time, lulling as the wilt of golden hour light. I memorize bird calls and wild herbs, hang tallow, sow millet, as if winter is a crop.
I dream you shirtless among the jagged roots, sharp as outlines of loss, sing with the nighthawk to defer the dawn, wait. I have
grown to crave even your silence.
* * * * *
I Had Wings" is part of Kari
Gunter-Seymour’s poetry collection A Place So Deep Inside America It
Can’t Be Seen (Sheila-Na-Gig Editions 2020).
Kari Gunter-Seymour’s poetry collections include A
Place So Deep Inside America It Can’t Be Seen (Sheila-Na-Gig Editions
2020) and Serving (Crisis Chronicles Press 2018/2020-Expanded
Edition). Her work is firmly attached to her home soil and is an examination of
the long-lasting effects of stereotype and false narratives surrounding
Appalachians. Her poems appear in numerous journals and publications
including Verse Daily, Rattle, Still, The NY Times and on her
website: www.karigunterseymourpoet.com. She is the 2020 Ohio Poet of the Year
and Poet Laureate of Ohio.