Walking Palms Up in the Dark

Returning to the lake I’d thrown my wedding ring into,

someone whispered, It’s still there you know, undissolved.


In the shrubs chipmunks scurried, and the man with the bottle

of Jim Beam sunned himself in the dirt path. He said he hears

voices in the winds, coming from all directions. I know this

because I hear them, as well. His mouth was an O as he raised

the bottle to; the bottle mouth was an O, he poured himself into.

My hands were ears I used to locate myself through a tunnel.

Laura McCullough’s The Wild Night Dress, selected by Billy Collins in the Miller Williams Poetry Prize Series, was published by University of Arkansas Press, 2017. Her other books of poems include Jersey Mercy, Black Lawrence Press, Rigger Death & Hoist Another (BLP), Panic (winner of the Kinereth Genseler Award, Alice James Books), Speech Acts (BLP), and What Men Want (XOXOX Press). She curated two anthologies of essays on poetry, A Sense of Regard: Essays on Poetry and Race, University of Georgia press and The Room and the World: Essays on the Poet Stephen Dunn, University of Syracuse press. Her prose and poetry have appeared widely in places such as Michigan Quarterly Review, The Southern Review, The Georgia Review, The American Poetry Review, Guernica, Pank, Gulf Coast, The Writer's Chronicle, Best American Poetry, and others. www.lauramccullough.org