"The sun woke me up slashing the walls with its bright yellow blades. I studied on the dust motes floating in the air for a while, then I got up and went to the bedroom. I saw right away it was a done deal. That’s when I called the police and told them to come on up to Pawpaw Ridge."
From "The Devil's Better Half." Floyd County Moonshine, (February 2009).
"Now I seek comfort in the liturgy
of late night laundry.
I roll towels into neat bundles,
pick lint from the dryer trap,
retrieve ragged t-shirts,
discover the one you got at Lollapalooza.
I bury my face in cotton,
inhale the clean smell of Clorox,
and fall out."
From "Night Laundry." Sawmill Boys, Brighid Editions (2010).
full of stardust
who abandons his wrench,
picks up his pen."
From "Wanted." Explorations (2009).
When he cocked his head at me and grinned, I saw a slight gap between his two front teeth. As he smiled, his eyes darkened from coffee-and-cream to pure black liquid. His hair was the color of my Granny’s apple butter; I thought how sweet it would be to free it from its tight ponytail and watch it tumble down around me. Just looking at him made me hungry.
from "Sawmill Boys.” Appalachian Heritage, vol. 34, no. 4 (Fall 2006).
Wash away the black fuzz
of diesel and dust,
and we’ll fumble in this dimwitted light
’til our tarnished love sparkles in the dark.
Twine yourself around me:
we are tight as the laces of a steel-toed boot.
From “Wise County Man.” Bluestone Review (Spring 2007).
Serenade me with the
stutter of Jake brakes on coal trucks
traveling down mountains.
Anoint me with the
pickled tang that hangs heavy
around the red bubby bush.
Lay me down in horsemint
and hemlock shadows,
shallow valleys, hallowed hills.
From “Anoint Me.” Poetry. 2009 Explorations Contest, Mountain Empire Community College.
Sometimes he woke me up in the middle of the night. "Dance with me."
Ignoring my protests, he whirled me around the room, singing along to the music. Most of the time he played Billie Holiday, Patsy Cline, or Janis Joplin. "The Three Graces," he called them. He sang "God Bless the Child" to the mound in my belly. I loved him most in those moments.
Other times I hated him.
From "Hard Lesson." Jimson Weed, vol. XXXIV, new series vol. 18, no. 1 (Spring 2015).
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