Woodlands/Swamplands by maggie woodward

WOODLANDS / SWAMPLANDS

here we are & it’s raining
here we are & the crickets are crooning
hello beetles / hello earthworms
hello rabbit-hearted lover

we crossed ten state lines to get here
we are far away from home
our skin smells like salt water / like swamp
we lick each other’s wounds

here we are feeling lucky
feeling drunk in the grass
our shining beetle eyes
our music-making legs
we have four days
to be together under palm trees
now three / now two

on the phone Sarah tells me
sister / all you’re missing is Jesus
& call mom later she worries

instead I call you
deer-hearted man / little dragonfly / little fire-breather
we raise our arms & every wild plant
stands taller at our feet

once last month / legs crossed in the closet
I called you / I told you
little caribou / little winged thing / my once-lover
I don’t mean to fall in love every day
I don’t mean to tear up blankets while I sleep
I don’t mean to dream about oceans / or the dead underwater

I don’t mean to lose myself in the woods for a week
but please understand / how the world has teeth
how it feels to touch / all dirt-wet things

 

 

————
maggie woodward is an MFA candidate in poetry at the University of Mississippi. she is senior editor of the Yalobusha Review & curates the Trobar Ric Reading Series with poet marty cain. her work has appeared or is forthcoming from Axolotl Magazine, Rust + Moth, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and elsewhere.

 

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