This selection, chosen by guest editor Samantha Duncan, is from Slide to Unlock by Julie E. Bloemeke, released by Sibling Rivalry Press in 2020.
Observations from the Base
after Lake Santeetlah, North Carolina
The problem with heights: They are heights. Again the resistance of water. How each kiss, somehow, is an attempt to recreate, not make new. Lust: a four-letter word. Also: what. I have self-covenants: One: to imagine no other when with you. By the fire, I slip. I curse myself for not loving better. When I ask you if I am someone else you say, Only you. I want to be this mountain. But then I swim. The problem with covenants: They are covenants. Later you say this to me: The blank space is how I honor it, deliciously gone. Even the fog makes promises, spans the hips of mountains. Such great heights. The fire wet ashes we cannot light again.
Julie E. Bloemeke (she/her) is the 2021 Georgia Author of the Year Finalist for Poetry. Her debut full-length collection Slide to Unlock was chosen as a 2021 Book All Georgians Should Read. Co-editor of Let Me Say This: A Dolly Parton Poetry Anthology (Madville Publishing, 2023), she has also served as co-editor for the Dolly Parton tribute issue of Limp Wrist magazine. Winner of the 2022 Third Coast Poetry Prize and a finalist for the 2020 Fischer Poetry Prize, her work has appeared in numerous anthologies and publications including Writer’s Chronicle, Prairie Schooner, Nimrod, and others. An associate editor for South Carolina Review and a Virginia Center for the Creative Arts fellow, she is also a freelance writer and editor. A proud native of Toledo, she currently lives in Atlanta.
Samantha Duncan is the author of four poetry chapbooks, including Playing One on TV (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2018) and The Birth Creatures (Agape Editions, 2016), and her work has appeared in BOAAT, SWWIM, Meridian, and The Pinch. She lives in Houston.
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