Back to Issue Twenty-Seven.

Song of the Bayou City


in Texas rain sank the earth: the city sang its bayous: I learned the weight of humidity wrapping its legs around you: in Texas doctors removed my plastic heart: heat contaminated choice: I paid a professional to activate nerves between my legs: in Texas fear was a rising river a bright depression: all the bats died: I lost all sense of time: in Texas even animal meat wasn’t enough: I ate organs & pills & gave away blood: in Texas possums ran for shelter: I packed a bag for the roof: between my legs scar tissue a bayou slicing through industry: I was a ghost with domestic responsibilities: floodwater licked the front steps: marriage got hard: in Texas water from the spout ran dangerous & gold: I followed animals back to their home: held irresponsible anger irrepressible shame: in Texas a stranger asked if I had a community of faith: locked things exploded: I drank oil & gas: pomegranates on the counter rotten & black: in Texas I watched pelicans dive at the beach dropped to my knees that I might be as hungry as their open beaks: I had no new babies: kept bleeding: in Texas I pulled up floorboards found only bones & coins: a new jangling: in Texas grackles ate carcasses by the gas station: no one was there to talk about what happened before

Chelsea B. DesAutels’s work appears or is forthcoming in PloughsharesWillow SpringsCopper NickelPleiadesNinth LetterTriQuarterly, and elsewhere. Chelsea is the recipient of the Inprint Verlaine Prize in Poetry. She has received grants and scholarships from the Vermont Studio Center and Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. Chelsea recently served as Poetry Editor of Gulf Coast. She lives and teaches in Houston, Texas.


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