my body trembles with memory in its den of soft tissue.
How easily the old dearness and loneliness spiral— a leathery, mildewed tang pushing outward from an empty center, hollowed out by it, honeycombed with it, pulling my body through flexed and writhed— places the body never dreamed of.
It is the pain in painfully. Like a dark star somewhere in my body, it never stops. I go around pulling at the sky, unearthed.
“In a parched time” cento acknowledgments: Rachel Wetzsteon, Bianca Stone, Nancy Shih-Krodel, Jane Hirshfield, Andrew Hudgins, Alan Michael Parker, Kate Colby, Robert Haas, Elizabeth Arnold, Michael Bazzett, Sharon Bryan, James Schuyler, Matthew Dickman, Anis Mojani, Michelle Ornat, Sophie Klahr
-- Gail Goepfert is a Midwest teacher, poet, and nature photographer. Currently, she serves as an associate editor for Chicago-based RHINO. She is published in a number of anthologies and journals including Avocet, O Channel, After Hours, Caesura, Florida English, Poetic License Press, and Examined Life Journaland online at Ardor, Brevity Poetry Review, Emerge Literary Journal, Blue Hour Magazineand Bolts of Silk. She was a Poet of the Month for YourDailyPoem.com. Two of her poems rode PACE buses in the annual Poetry at Moves contest, Highland Park, Illinois, She’s been a runner-up for Journal of Modern Poetry and Mississippi Valley Poetry Contest, and she was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2013.