Crepe Myrtles & All Those Other Blooming Trees

Hannah V. Warren

2022 Greg Grummer Poetry Prize First Runner Up

when we find a river 
we rejoice 

                as if we’ve never 
seen so much water before 

as if we weren’t birthed 
again & again 
in meticulous baptismal fonts 

sunned ice on the riverbank 
tiny punch optics 

too swift to name this plaque 
                         this gnarled root 
so far from everything 

we put leaves in our mouths 
whole trees in our mouths 

waiting for bloom  

these woods are a danger 
slick of mud & moss 

small trees fall at our feet 

we don’t want to be  
planted here 

     bone-colored seeds 
growing       teeth 

Hannah V. Warren

is a Fulbright scholar and a doctoral candidate at the University of Georgia where she studies poetry and speculative narratives. Her writing and research interests focus on monstrous aesthetics, post/apocalypse literature, and representations of alterity. She is the author of two chapbooks: Southern Gothic Corpse Machine from Carrion Bloom Books (2022) and [re]construction of the necromancer from Sundress Publications (2020). Her works have appeared in Gulf Coast, Passages North, Crazyhorse, THRUSH, and Fairy Tale Review, among others.

Art: “Farewell Dance III” by Nicoline Franziska, Oil on canvas

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