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Say Amen

Excerpted from the book of poems, Copperhead, published by Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2011


Say Amen
For Avon skin-so-soft and the
Liberty Baptist Church,
the Family Dollar discount
grocery, this thunderstorm,
heady and thick, the cogs
and the wheels and the sign,
Goats for sale.
For bugs flat to the windshield,
for the Trailwinds bus, the driver
who calls you girl,
his slow syllables, the gum
that rolls over his speaking tongue.
Praise the envelope of night
licked shut, the grasshopper
crawling your neighbor’s seat,
his open-mouthed snore, his
smiling eyes, the dream
he’s having, the gators
in their swamps . . .