“Subduction” by Angie Macri

Reading by the author

The high mountains called mother
metamorphosed from mountain to a woman
with a child more than anyone
can handle. Why are you still waiting 
when that child opens before you like a canyon?

Men wanted gold and found themselves dying,
the creek a furnace.
They found salt at hell’s gate with bad water and sand
that had risen.
Below sea level, in the great basin, the air still rises

and sinks onto itself, creating its own currents.
On one side of the woman, a glacier
carved a canyon. On the other, a body 
formed in a tectonic basin,
a closed sea, the oldest lake on the continent,

and birds migrated among its towers.
The child laughs with the headwaters of the river.
The mountains blue to the sky with the pressure
of their own longing.
In them, she found mica in sheets, 

mirrors in the granite as she was changing.
In them, she can’t see herself,
just the sky around her,
the dome mountains, the fault mountains,
bright with glittering crumbs.

Angie Macri is the author of Underwater Panther (Southeast Missouri State University), winner of the Cowles Poetry Book Prize, and Sunset Cue (Bordighera), winner of the Lauria/Frasca Poetry Prize. An Arkansas Arts Council fellow, she lives in Hot Springs.

Image: “Traffic Light Near Jericho” by Daniel Nester

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