Leaving hour, how quick
it came. The train echoed
across the valley, over Tickfaw Creek,
trembled the ryegrass at the edge
of town, then further
still, beyond Black Mountain
clear to strange weather.
Now, six days from land
the compass has gone out of me.
These cursed waves thrash
like thieves, and what a mockery
of song the wind is making. Dearest,
the sea is another tongue
for loss, for misery, for coffin.
For grief: the rusty hinge of it,
the knife stab sudden of it.
Patty Paine is the author of Grief & Other Animals (forthcoming from Accents Publishing), The Sounding Machine (Accents Publishing), Feral (Imaginary Friend Press), Elegy & Collapse (Finishing Line Press), co-editor of Gathering the Tide: An Anthology of Contemporary Arabian Gulf Poetry (Garnet Publishing & Ithaca Press) and The Donkey Lady and Other Tales from the Arabian Gulf (Berkshire Academic Press). Her poems, reviews, and interviews have appeared in Blackbird, Verse Daily, The Atlanta Review, Gulf Stream, The Journal and other publications. She is the founding editor of diode poetry journal and Diode Editions. She is an Assistant Professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar where she teaches writing and literature.
Andrew Koch’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Bluestem, Connotation Press, Mojo, Rust + Moth, and others. Although a Tennessee-native, Andrew presently lives in Spokane, Washington with his wife and cat while teaching literature and pursuing his MFA in Creative Writing at Eastern Washington University.