Sotto Voce, Abandoned Barn

What eaves know, host

                          to swallow’s nest,

a rat snake’s ribbing wrap.

                                         That thinking

is like that. Pine planked. Grey honeycomb

                           pining for originary use. Alfalfa tang,

   an in-mind stench. Mind abandoned

                           roadside. Left like a mine

falling in. From the highest angle nests

               the densest dark, riding weather

like a carriage to the ground. Tucked

in cedar, orange froth

                                  circling nail heads. Falling

out. That thought, gripped between

                            my teeth and hammer claw’s

                                                                       the prayer

I will not say’s been prayer

                          all the while I’ve been living

 here. Do not labor with your prayer

                          like a hammer. The barn’s

a colony of wood dissolving

                                               in the dark.

Alicia Wright is originally from Rome, Georgia, and has received fellowships from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in The Paris Review, Ecotone, West Branch, Crazyhorse, and jubilat, among others. At present, she is a PhD candidate in English & Literary Arts at the University of Denver, where she serves as the Denver Quarterly Editorial Fellow (Associate Editor). Follow her @aliciaawwright.