Sarah Edwards

The Spill

Sarah Edwards

The river is a headline
                of disease but before
the news came out
it was our after-work baptism
                our wade-into-water
our two-miles-out between
blackberry bushes,
                the first private splash
and the resonance, after.

When people ask
                about the South,
it is this sickness they’re talking about:
                politics a ready punch line
                on the tip of their tongue,
                some judgment about snow storms
                and strung-out syllables
& what I want to show them
is the dead-fish river
still catching the moon,
                each night
in its shiny baseball glove.

Three years ago,
and we are sitting on the dock
and disaster is punching in
at the time-clock,
                and dearly beloved
                we are gathered here,
                in ordinary vigil—
long burner of light across water,
apocalyptic call of tree frogs,
feet tangled in river weeds, etc.
                But science says the moon makes
                a slow parting, pulling away
                from earth a few inches
                every year, like a lover
                bad at goodbyes.

SARAH EDWARDS has been published in places like The Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review, Two Serious Ladies, and her family Christmas letter. Formerly of North Carolina, now of Brooklyn. She has a blog: