Waterline

We sit on the porch at supper,
so homesick for the Atlantic,
we cast, catch, reel it west—
a thousand miles across 17, 95, and 20;
across the Pee Dee, Mississippi, and Red—

till sure enough, it smacks and thrashes
right over Shreveport, LA. Comes to rest
with the tide-swell of cicadas,
the hushbaby waves of wind
through heavy-leafed oaks
outside these old screens.

When they weep, the hawks turn into gulls.
Orange cannas break into flame—
tiki-torches from the 1960s, back
when our tans were deep, bodies lean,
feet sore from that trek on the shell-sharp waterline
from Huntington Beach to Litchfield
and, when the moon drank the tide down,
across to Pawleys Island. . . .

Sting of lemon on grilled trout,
crisp burnt skin. Just as we used to,
we cut the salt with gin.

Ashley Mace Havird

Ashley Mace Havird

Ashley Mace Havird’s fourth collection of poems, Wild Juice, has just been published by LSU Press in the Southern Messenger Poets Series. The Garden of the Fugitives (Texas Review Press, 2014) won the X. J. Kennedy Prize. Her poems have appeared in many journals, most recently Image, Sewanee Review, and American Journal of Poetry. Her novel, Lightningstruck (Mercer University Press, 2016), won the Ferrol Sams Award for Fiction. www.ashleymacehavird.com.
Ashley Mace Havird

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Author: Ashley Mace Havird

Ashley Mace Havird’s fourth collection of poems, Wild Juice, has just been published by LSU Press in the Southern Messenger Poets Series. The Garden of the Fugitives (Texas Review Press, 2014) won the X. J. Kennedy Prize. Her poems have appeared in many journals, most recently Image, Sewanee Review, and American Journal of Poetry. Her novel, Lightningstruck (Mercer University Press, 2016), won the Ferrol Sams Award for Fiction. www.ashleymacehavird.com.