Pearl River

Stacey Balkun

even after the sun lifts 
& does its best to burn off the fog

risen around our clearing 
it clings to the banks

bruised by your hipbones 
by the hard ground

still asleep, you sense my wake 
& pull me close

we are tidal 
we are brine

my body wants to be 
by your body

                         why can’t we
if I’m trying to be honest

this is a story a quick prayer 
for the oysters

purchased last night from the bed 
of a pick-up truck

to shuck for breakfast I 
don’t know the difference

between a white oak 
& a water oak

between deer island 
& cedar key

is this golden rod?
              is this gold?

I’d call it an aubade but 
neither of us leaves

you are sharp
                           I gleam


Stacey Balkun

STACEY BALKUN is the author of Sweetbitter & co-editor of Fiolet & Wing. Winner of the 2019 New South Writing Contest, her work has appeared in Best New Poets, Mississippi Review, Pleiades, & several other anthologies & journals. Stacey holds an MFA from Fresno State & teaches online at The Poetry Barn and The Loft. She currently works as Coordinator for the Graduate and Undergraduate English programs at the University of New Orleans.

Art: “43” by M P Pratheesh, Photograph of an Installation

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