Doug Ramspeck

He Said / She Said
by Doug Ramspeck

She insists it is always summer
on the white road, always morning,

and the fish bones by the river
are picked clean. He watches

how her face is a shelter of small
rooms. And if his hands become

ghostly weeds beside the road,
she says that there are elegies

in the salt of the skin, that birds
are black cloths, and clouds

a distant braille for imagined hands.
But he says our fathers are passed out

beside the back porch, bottles holy
around them, small obelisks upright

or overturned, memories like fallen
logs hollowing at their centers.

She watches the liver-colored moon,
the shoulders of the bruised clouds,

and says they’ll make a life from
the humdrum atoms in their bodies,

from crows cawing in the distance,
from the blood red of a dusk sky.
 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 17, Issue 3.

Doug RamspeckDoug Ramspeck is the author of four poetry collections, the most recent of which, Mechanical Fireflies (2011), won the Barrow Street Press Book Prize. His first book, Black Tupelo Country (2009), was awarded the John Ciardi Prize. His poems have appeared in The Kenyon Review, Slate, Alaska Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. In 2009 he received an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award. He directs the Writing Center and teaches creative writing at The Ohio State University at Lima.

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