Sarah Crossland




Aerials


It is the summer of coinciding: the lake,
stones set along it like vertebrae,
the wet dirt embossing my knees.
Your father—Cherokee hair, dark
eyes, uncut nails—hands over a Black Cat.
Even as I twist the wire wicks together,
the Off sifting up
from between my legs
(because your mother told me
that's where mosquitoes like to dine:
on the pink fold of skin
where my panty line should be),
your breath is portabella
mushrooms—I would like
for nothing but to take you
underneath the porch, let our bodies
disagree—shrapnel, white
mountains of it, the colour of the sky
around entirely a lesser: less blue, less
sparked. Yet every time it happens
just as this: friction, a scrannel of light
widening, asterial, accepting then
the shape of hips. Ready for the pull
of smoke's plume, the after-singe.
Your hand craters up to mine,
the trees wearing their shadows
as if for the sleeping dead.


The Mermaid Train

Before, when I was sick with red and barking lungs
my mother would sing to me of the mermaid train,

its windows translucent seashells, a thousand
wheels purling along the tracks of rolling waves.

In September's cooled nocturnal cauldron,
it sailed through every station: each local lake,

bucculent rivers mad with boats, even the sour
spaces of our richer neighbors' swimming pools:

the train a gallant skipping stone, sly as Cheever's
aquanaut. But what of the passengers, I would ask,

what of their fins? And my mother—her hair
the muddy seine forever seizing up her shoulders—

would reply: It approached in three little yellow lights,
the mermaids underwater waiting in a line:

suitcases draped in all the greens of kelp, each locked
with a mollusk-clasp; their breasts concealed

by conch shells; their hair kept back in kerchiefs.
All seeking a similar destination, a sea dyed

as blue as tourmaline, silent and unrocking—
a sea unmarried to the lungs of earth.


The Fever of the Primrose

I.

The three witches
huddle over
the neon traffic cones of           

the bulging purple highway.
First the right
calls all cars to ice,

the left brings
her lips
into brave grey diamonds,

then the middle
steals the flower
from its mausoleum

                                              
beneath newspaper
torn in rounded strips those
little bleached leaves.

II.

Seven seagulls
pull damask clouds
across the great Ohio Turnpike.

III.

In Altson,
just beyond
the Pennine Way—

carefully            
five hollow-mouthed maidens
step down

from their ivied
townhouse
windows

into the pit of
the empty
sky.




Sarah Crossland will graduate from the University of Virginia in the spring of 2011 with an interdisciplinary degree in fiction, poetry, and folklore. She is the co-editor-in-chief of UVa's do-it-yourself literary-arts magazine Glass, Garden, and this past summer she completed an internship with AGNI in Boston. This spring, she will be teaching the course Inspiration, Muse, and Genesis in Creative Writing via UVa's Cavalier Education Program.









                                    

 

Home
Current Issue
Submissions
Contributors' Notes


Email this poem Printer friendly page



Bruce Bennett

Brent Calderwood

Ann Cale

Sarah Crossland

Philip Dacey

Tiffanie Desmangles

Moshe Dor on Rod Jellema

Lucia Galloway

Jane Ellen Glasser

Barbara Goldberg on Charles Simic

Joey Goodall

Heidi Hart

Richard Harteis

RJ Hooker

Glenn Irwin

Catherine Jagoe

LuAnn Keener-Mikenas

Jean L. Kreiling

Mercedes Lawry

Lyn Lifshin

Greg McBride on David Salner

Miles David Moore

Sherry O'Keefe

Jane Olmsted

Marie Pavlicek-Wehrli

Simon Perchik

Kathleen Radigan

Oliver Rice

David Salner

Lynda Self

Peter Serchuk

Janice D. Soderling

Ellen Steinbaum

Tim Suermondt

Kim Cope Tait

Brigit Truex

Michael J. Whelan

Leonore Wilson

More

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       

 

 

 

 

 


Last Updated: Aug 31, 2017 - 1:39:51 PM

Copyright 2005 - 2017 Cook Communication.