In the Valley, But Not of It
—Valle del Jerte, Spain
His España, and her hair like a black cat’s feelers sniffing
that escabeche. Her eyes, two deep pits pushed back into their
sockets: two black cherries he’s crushed with his thumbs,
drizzle black-purple love into wet dirt after a long mountain
From that Elysian, no man’s land comes her ups and downs,
her soda pop laugh that bubbles like a wand and hypnotizes,
while I walk a tight straight line, a night crawler pinned in my
rain dirt coffin. What he doesn’t want: I’m my mind walking
the valley towards the edge of the world, a giant, sexual ark
respirating through oak and freshwater spray.
The rain has me tacked in my flat with no heat, and I’ve
held myself here for him for so long that I half expect to form a
pearl in my seat; once the rain lets, I’m going to jump off this
dirty old wreck; once it lets, I’m going to scrape my fortunes
together like worms in a tin and chuck them free—watch them
sprout wings, if they can.
Lee Anne Sittler has lived in Connecticut, Tennessee, Georgia, Extremadura, and Madrid thus far; she can only guess where the next year will take her. She received her B.A. and M.F.A. degrees from The University of Georgia, and she is currently finishing two Master’s degrees: an M.A. in English from Saint Louis University-Madrid Campus, and an M.A. in Bilingual and Multicultural Education from La Universidad de Alcalá. Lee Anne is proud that her poems have appeared in some of her favorite e-lit and print journals: Right Hand Pointing, Short, Fast, & Deadly, Spillway, Versal, Court Green, The Prose-Poetry Project, and Moniker Mad. Lee Anne’s mother, Leslie Ann Gaidjunas, passed away before this chapbook was published.
Melanie Jordan‘s chapbook, Ghost Season, is available from Ropewalk Press; her work has been published in the Iowa Review, Birmingham Poetry Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Poetry Southeast, Third Coast, DIAGRAM, Southeast Review, and others. She studied Creative Writing at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga before receiving her MFA from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and her doctorate from the University of Houston. She currently teaches Creative Writing, literature, and composition at the University of West Georgia. Her debut collection, Hallelujah for the Ghosties, was published by Sundress in 2015.