The Drowned Light

Pinned beneath the dark rust of their voices
she lies flat on her back in the dry dirt.

Above her, a blood-shot sky, blackbirds slurred

against a wall of pine.

                                                     In the still air,

men smoke cigarettes, loosen their belts.

They watch her pink blouse open like the petals

of an azalea, watch bruises bloom

beneath her skin. Trees sway in the glint

of their rifles. Their sweaty hands grope the air.

When they’re finished, they leave her half-dressed
in the drowned light of the lake. An orange sun ripples

as their shadows limp across the water.

--from Passages North

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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