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Poetry: "A Plea for My Reincarnation" & "Beating Outside My Chest" by Lisa Creech Bledsoe

A Plea for my Reincarnation

1. No finely-shaped thought

September. The apple trees have long since

dropped their leaves and fruit

spills everywhere on the mountain—

wasps are drunk with it, bear

and beetles gorge, are sticky and sated.

This costs nothing.

2. The heart eats the heart

The wild cherry was a hundred feet tall

damaged, leaning—

toward the three-trunked ash she'd grown next to

for a hundred years. The spring we took down

the cherry

the ash dropped every leaf and knelt

to die, griefbroken—

this costs everything.

3. I am undone

Who among us is holy?

Who listens? The hunger to count,

to acquire, to withhold and store—

It will cost everything.

4. How little the young know

One year, then one summer—

tentative shoots rising whitely, bluely

from the ash. I begin to see the surrounding

forest writing silently down

the abandoned longing of the ash

in green whips, in thin green gifts.

This costs something.

5. Today, beneath the witch hazel

Hamamelis, a word for service.

And wiche, or pliant: bendable, not magic.

She bends in service to water, homefolk

said, and showed me. Call it also winter-bloom,

flowers spilled everywhere on the snow—

the heart grows drunk with it.

6. How can I dream except

for the next life and next?

To descend or rise in company of wasp

and beetle and bear amid

such giants.

Beating Outside My Chest

I went to sleep beneath a trillium leaf.

Sometimes my mouth goes on its own journey

and my mouth is on this unticketed trip

with me, stowaway, crushed such that my

blessing misses its landing, chips a tooth.

A nest of egg and foam blows over in wind.

Nothing is safe in this winnowing—

eggs and boys and mothers are fraught,

spit-glued with marbles under a trillium leaf.

I'm not sleeping, crouched by an open window

trying to smoke down the past, blowing it

out the window at 3 am like a teen.

A nightship filled with broken blows and

blessings sleeps beneath a trillium leaf.

Watched by crows and friend to salamanders, Lisa Creech Bledsoe is a hiker, beekeeper, and writer living in the mountains of Western North Carolina. She is the author of two full-length books of poetry, Appalachian Ground (2019), and Wolf Laundry (2020). She has poems out in Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Chiron Review, Third Wednesday, Otoliths, ANMLY, and Quartet, among others.

My website:


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