Beth Gordon (Western Voices 2020)

Exclusive: Western Voices, 2020: Edited by Scott Thomas Outlar
Bio: Beth Gordon is a poet, mother and grandmother currently living in Asheville, NC. Her poems have been nominated for Best of the Net, Pushcart and the Orison Anthology. She is the author of two chapbooks: Morning Walk with Dead Possum, Breakfast and Parallel Universe (Animal Heart Press) and Particularly Dangerous Situation (Clare Songbird Publishing). She is Managing Editor of Feral, Assistant Editor of Animal Heart Press and Poetry Editor of Gone Lawn.



In Which I Contemplate Drowning in the 3rd Oldest River on Earth

I am a curator of tears, sweetish-
spiced rituals of collect and capture,
barrels and teacups, tissues and trashcans,
invisible syllables discarded
in the crone’s well that grandfather first dug
in the ugly winter of ought seven,
when children of seven witnessed raw ice
for the first time in their swamp lives, frozen
water, brutal and pure, that changed the shape
of their hearts. When my upstairs
neighbor showered yesterday he forgot
to pull the barrier curtain inside,
his water crept through my halls, my ceiling
forever scarred with the path of failing
liquid and the maintenance man says wait
for it to dry while I hammer stainless
steel nails, a carpenter in witch’s shroud.
I translate cracks in my sliding glass door
while it storms as you drive west. I have
everything to say about tears, bring
out the old tin tub, let sun brew the rain,
immerse yourself into that photographed
day before you knew your own sacred name.


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