Melissa Tuckey


The last days of July we walk past an oak struck by lightning
bark blown hundreds of feet above
the creek and hanging rocks
and Pete asks will you put all of this in a poem?
And will I include the part about giraffes
taking over the continent? And the elephants fucking
like it’s a community event?

At breakfast beneath the dazzle of locust shells tied by string above
the kitchen table he says

when the giraffes come we’ll sneak to the fields
and cut the wire
so they can come and go as they please


Melissa Tuckey is author of Tenuous Chapel, a book of poems selected by Charles Simic for the ABZ First Book Award in 2013. A Black Earth Fellow, she’s received support through a winter fellowship at Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and artist awards from Ohio Arts Council and DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. Recent poems have appeared in Cutthroat, Kenyon Review, and Missouri Review. She is editor of Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology, forthcoming in Winter of 2018 with University of Georgia Press. Follow her work at