Working in the Heat

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nearly naked, damp skin layered

in fine sifts of soil as the dirt dauber,
mouth mud-full, puzzles outside the greenhouse
I have closed the door and window to,
though it has already flown how many times
to start a nest inside my coat, hoop-hung from the roof.

It hovers at the door, the vent, helicopters
up and down and sideways, as it finds each pin-prick,
each sun-degraded, mouse-and-grasshopper-chewed hole,
trip after trip finding new ones as I patched the old
and now it drones inch-by-inch, scouring the plastic,
staring into this cataracted world.

The wing wisp of air on my face, the secret wish
of the clavicle. Everything has its hunger. Everything.
Though it wastes in wind and rain and sun-scald
so I rise, tugged by the invisible thread of the world’s spell,
my body’s conversation with the unseen,
the unknown, and am pulled to the closed door.

 

Photo By: Nick Saltmarsh

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About Author

Judy Jordan’s first book of poetry, Carolina Ghost Woods, won the 1999 Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets, the 2000 National Book Critics Circle Award, as well as the Utah Book of the Year Award, the OAY Award from the Poetry Council of North Carolina, and the Thomas Wolfe Literary Award. Her second book of poetry, Sixty Cent Coffee and a Quarter to Dance, was published by LSU press. Jordan’s third manuscript, Hunger, which is about the two years she spent in semi-homelessness living in a greenhouse is at LSU press and she just completed a fourth book of poetry. Jordan built her own environmentally friendly house out of cob and earthbag while living in a tent, founded SIPRAW, which rescued dogs out of puppy mills, lives off the grid, is a vegan, and teaches creative writing at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.

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