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Floating Trees

C.D. Wright
a bed is left open to a mirror
a mirror gazes long and hard at a bed

light fingers the house with its own acoustics

one of them writes this down
one has paper

bed of swollen creeks and theories and coils
bed of eyes and leaky pens

much of the night the air touches arms
arms extend themselves to air

their torsos turning toward a roll
of sound: thunder

night of coon scat and vandalized headstones
night of deep kisses and catamenia

his face by this light: saurian
hers: ash like the tissue of a hornets’ nest

one scans the aisle of firs
the faint blue line of them
one looks out: sans serif

“Didn’t I hear you tell them you were born
on a train”

what begins with a sough and ends with a groan
groan in which the tongue’s true color is revealed

the comb’s sough and the denim’s undeniable rub
the chair’s stripped back and muddied rung

color of stone soup and garden gloves
color of meal and treacle and sphagnum

hangers clinging to their coat
a soft white bulb to its string

the footprints inside us
iterate the footprints outside

the scratched words return to their sleeves

the dresses of monday through friday
swallow the long hips of weekends

a face is studied like a key
for the mystery of what it once opened

“I didn’t mean to wake you
angel brains”

ink of eyes and veins and phonemes
the ink completes the feeling

a mirror silently facing a door
door with no lock no lock

the room he brings into you
the room befalls you

like the fir trees he trues her
she nears him like the firs

if one vanishes one stays
if one stays the other will or will not vanish

otherwise my beautiful green fly
otherwise not a leaf stirs
Madison Poet Laureate, writer, editor, activist and humanist
Why I chose this poem: 

I love C. D. Wrights work. I studied her while getting my MFA at the Institute of American Indian Arts. My thesis advisor Santee Frazier had her as a mentor. In this way I too feel a connection to her poetry. I continue to study her work and read her poems.

Angie Trudell Vasquez (Mexican-American 2nd & 3rd generation Iowan) holds a Master of Fine Arts in Poetry from the Institute of American Indian Arts. Her work has been published in Taos Journal of PoetryYellow Medicine Review, Raven ChroniclesThe RumpusCloudthroat, and the South Florida Poetry Journal. She has poems on the Poetry Foundation’s website, and was a Ruth Lilly fellow as an undergraduate at Drake University. Her third collection of poetry, In Light, Always Light, was released by Finishing Line Press in May 2019. She co-guest edited the Spring 2019 edition of the Yellow Medicine Review. She serves on the Wisconsin State Poet Laureate Commission, and currently lives in Madison, Wisconsin. On January 20, 2020 she became Madison’s newest Poet Laureate.

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