Equus

William Wright Click to read more...

William Wright is the author of four full-length books and four chapbooks. His full-length books are Tree Heresies (Mercer University Press, 2015), Night Field Anecdote (Louisiana Literature Press, 2011) and Bledsoe (Texas Review Press, 2011).  Series editor of The Southern Poetry Anthology (Texas Review Press), Wright has recently published work in Beloit Poetry Journal, Greensboro ReviewKenyon ReviewColorado Review, Indiana Review, AGNI and North American Review.  He is founding editor of Town Creek Poetry. Wright also edited Hard Lines: Rough South Poetry (with Daniel Cross Turner), due out from the University of South Carolina Press in 2015. Wright will serve as Writer-in-Residence at the University of Tennessee in spring of 2016.

Dusks a blue smolder of memory:
Your grandfather fades behind the creak
of the barn door, mouth trembling with sermons
lodged forever behind his tongue. You breathe

dust and drink the well’s rust-water,
then slog in the heat of horses,
saddled by noon rains, mud choking the yield.
Nights, back in the stanch purity of those rooms,

with soap-burned hands you wrap your head
with words: sorghum and lantern, cellar and sin.
Then down into image, the earth’s nightlong gift:
Your mother’s scarred hands fondling the plump coinage

of tomatoes, the pox of aphids washed immaculate.
Her gloves uncoiling barbed wire, gauzing the reddening scrape.
The hiss and warmth of embers, cedar-smoke’s tang.
Always she dims again beneath black water

as mornings wrest you from sleep like a breech foal
torn loose, shivering in the hay.

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