Issue > Poetry
Andrew Grace

Andrew Grace

Andrew Grace is the author of three books of poems, most recently Sancta, which was published by Ahsanta Press. His poems are forthcoming in Pleiades, Passages North, Southwest Review and Conduit. He teaches English at Kenyon College.

Homecoming

The German farmers
of central Illinois let their pain pills
melt on their tongues
before bed.  They hurt like a tree,
slow, deep in.
Their bodies are the color
of animal fat, but hardened by machines.

They walk the halls of their house
to the porch where they chew
half a black cigar
and wait for their daughters
to come home.

They know not to wait
for their sons
and hope the sheriff's light rack
doesn't flood their yard.
What boys might do
drives them, in their ruined slippers,
to walk out into the fields.

The German farmers of central Illinois
are half salt, half rain,
and try to sleep enough
to halve the night.

They look back into their windows
left lit for the missing.
Horses drift along the fence-line
like smoke.

What I Know

It is the hour
when the muscles
of my heart stitch
their crooked quilt of blood.

Horizon swallows houses
like a snake.

A broken engine
is a convict forever confessing
his one kill.  

We are only able
to understand one landscape.

Acres of quail.
Fence-lines that wander
like pilgrims.
The simple, unbearable stars.

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