Issue > Poetry
Melissa Crowe

Melissa Crowe

Melissa Crowe earned her MFA in Poetry from Sarah Lawrence College and her PhD in English from the University of Georgia. Her work has appeared in journals like Atlanta Review, Crab Orchard Review and Seneca Review, and Finishing Line Press published her second chapbook, Girl, Giant, in 2013. She's co-editor of Beloit Poetry Journal and lives in Asheville, North Carolina.

Southbound Epithalamium

You ask me to accept this winterlessness,
and I do. I bare shy knees and drink sweet tea
in January, July, abide your fist-fat magnolia petals

rotting the lawn, your blistering brick walks
where sleepy lizards pink, and in the cracks
perhaps the widow spider, brown recluse.

I won't miss the terror of driving back roads,
black ice and deer eyes till the house appears,
solid and with its pocket of secret heat.

Yes, I relinquish the danger of December
and its deliciousness, short precious days,
mornings spent sitting by the eastern-facing

window, eyes trained on the light. It's alright.
But know where I go I carry this cheek-chapped
northern girl. Wool-wrapped, she trudges

her mother's boot prints from front door
to bus stop in pre-dawn's impossible blue.
Or now, unbundled, follows you.

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