I flood as there is no one left
to swim to—chipped polish
skirt lifted, my soft shoulder
pushed hard against the dead
hemlock tree, please god don’t see
anything besides flesh wet purpose
when you float your thirsty
hands around my trusting
neck—I tell you I want them
harder—the light finally breaks
when I open my mouth. Hose
ripped in two different places.
A sinful woman washed Christ’s feet,
dried them with her hair, imagine
all the ways a pair of country knees
can worship their way home. Witness
the black earth of my eyes, my violent
fanfare, this young cotton all red
stemmed and blanketing the field.
Deliverance begins with the body
and sweeps outward. Please don’t
let me go to Heaven alone.
Meg Wade is a former Poetry Fellow at the University of Wisconsin’s Creative Writing Institute. She has been the recipient of an Academy of American Poets Prize, and served as Assistant Editor for an anthology of contemporary, rural American poetry titled, Hick Poetics (Lost Roads Press, 2014). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Pinwheel, Linebreak, Nashville Review, Hobart, and Whiskey Island, among others. She tweets at @tennessee_me, but lives and writes in Nashville, Tennessee.