THINK AWAY THE BLOOD
Driving to Virginia, with the destination of your grave, I drive into a doe. The eyes bulb gently in their sockets; wide ears bend toward my bumper. Bone and body slam against the undercarriage. Your birthday, nine years after your death. It is 5am. I spend the remaining six hours thinking of that body splayed in the road. How long dead. How I travel to you with blood.
ONE OF TWO WAYS
You’ve jolted awake.
NINETEEN NINETY EIGHT
When he wrote, “There’s a glove in the crick,” I asked, “Are you from the South?”
He was, more or less. And when I said it, “South”—and why I haven’t gone back--
my sister ended up in my mouth. Like a bullfrog. Like cherry blossom—choking.
What sister? What sister.
He meant creek, you know. But I got [the usage] and [the origin] wept. He was my student.
Sweet and smelled like a delicious word. Anyway, the question wasn’t so much What as When.
CM Burroughs has been awarded fellowships and grants from Yaddo and The MacDowell Colony. She has been commissioned by the Studio Museum of Harlem and the Warhol Museum to create poetry in response to art installations. Her poetry has appeared in journals including Callaloo, jubilat, Ploughshares, VOLT, Bat City Review, and Sou’wester. She is the Elma Stuckey Poet-in-Residence at Columbia College of Chicago, and her debut collection of poetry, The Vital System, was published in 2012 by Tupelo Press.