down? – Alison Benis White
Maybe I am the verb.
To have a child is to learn we are all dying
by degrees. I want to bring my child
home. To wrap her body in bedsheets
& hold my hand over her mouth
like an open flame. Is there a heaven with less
razor wire & blood? In the next county,
a woman slips while cutting down a razor wire
fence on her property. With each
small movement, she tears herself apart.
I want to hurt like that.
Why must our sentences burn?
A sentence, now, the slag of fog
over the fields.
The safety of a secondhand.
Chelsea Dingman’s first book, Thaw, was chosen by Allison Joseph to win the National Poetry Series, published by the University of Georgia Press (2017). In 2016-17, she also won The Southeast Review’s Gearhart Poetry Prize, The Sycamore Review’s Wabash Prize, and Water-stone Review’s Jane Kenyon Poetry Prize. Her work can be found in Mid-American Review, Ninth Letter, The Colorado Review, and Gulf Coast, among others. Visit her website: chelseadingman.com.