THE WARDROBE’S BEST DRESSED: TERESE SVOBODA’S “WHEN THE NEXT BIG WAR BLOWS DOWN THE VALLEY”

svoboda_terese

Skinny Dip

Eddies pull at my breasts.
From midstream, you are another

blossom, swaddled in that color
of cloth and sleeping, I hope,

on the bed of leaves I made for you.
Is the sand beneath you wet? I dive

to a warm spot, fish-breath-hot.
Almost too deep. I fear

not touching. My milk trails up
like octopus ink as a boat buzzes by.

Don’t wake while I’m under.
My fingers, a mile off, beckon

but the broad palm anchors me.
When I hit the air

my skull’s bones refit. Fish hatch
and swim away, so as I search the shore

I expect to see you rise from your blanket
and skim over the water,

and trout to snap in gladness.


This selection comes from Terese Svoboda’s upcoming collection, When The Next Big War Blows Down the Valley, available November 1st, 2015, from Anhinga Press. Pre-order your copy here!

A 2013 Guggenheim Fellow in fiction, Terese Svoboda is the author of six novels, five books of poetry, an award-winning memoir and a book of translation from the Nuer. She is very lucky to have When the Next Big War Blows Down the Valley: Selected and New Poems 1985-2015 appear in November 2015 and Anything That Burns You: A Portrait of Lola Ridge, Radical Poet in January 2016.

Jacob L. Cross lives in the southwest suburbs of Chicago. He studied creative writing and publishing at the University of Illinois Springfield, where he served as editor of The Popcorn Farm Literary Journal. His work has been featured in Still: The Journal, The Alchemist Review, and elsewhere. More recently, his poems are due for release in Clash by Night, a poetry anthology inspired by the punk staple, London Calling. He enjoys hiking with his wife, traversing Zelda dungeons, spoiling his dogs, and half-priced sushi.

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