— shall become as —

By Evie Shockley Evie Shockley
            you put this pen
in my hand and you
take the pen from
            my hand. the night
before the full moon
            the moon seems
full. what is missing
is a dark hungry
            sickle, the sliver
of shadow eating
            us up inside. after
the mountains breathe
their mint-and-sorrow
            green against the long
summer sky, they burst
            into hot october
laughter, lighting
the horizon with citrus,
            rust, and blood. you
put this knife in my
            hand. we pull. we
meet as oceans come
together, heaving
            against and clinging
across our salt watery
            boundary. we approach
endlessly like two rails
of one track, tied
            in a parallel that
promises our eyes to
            merge, someplace far
off in the distance. you
put this feather in my
            palm. my fingers
close around flight.

Evie Shockley, “— shall become as — from a half-red sea, published by Carolina Wren Press. Copyright © 2006 by Evie Shockley. Reprinted by permission of Evie Shockley.

Source: a half-red sea (Carolina Wren Press, 2006)

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Poet Evie Shockley

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

Subjects Living, The Body, Love, Nature, Stars, Planets, Heavens, Arts & Sciences, Language & Linguistics

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Evie  Shockley


Born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee, poet Evie Shockley earned a BA at Northwestern University, a JD at the University of Michigan, and a PhD in English literature at Duke University. The author of several collections of poetry, including a half-red sea (2006) and the new black (2011), Shockley is also the author of the critical volume Renegade Poetics: Black Aesthetics and Formal Innovation in African American Poetry . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, The Body, Love, Nature, Stars, Planets, Heavens, Arts & Sciences, Language & Linguistics

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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