This selection, chosen by guest editor Alyse Bensel, is from Iguana Iguana by Caylin Capra-Thomas, released by Deep Vellum in 2022.
Put All That Down Now. Back Away.
Forgive. Forgive the days their relentless arrival. Accept their storms as your prophets, their waters’ soft violence. Forgive the water. Forgive the clouds their roaming forms. In another version, oblivion came for you—more than a passing notion. Forgive her. You, you can learn to move on. See—overhead, the migration: sandhill cranes spiraling up, up— harsh, rolling gargle of calls crowns the color of rusted blood, and knife-sharp whitish wings, glinting. Forgive them. They waste you.
Caylin Capra-Thomas is the author of Iguana Iguana (Deep Vellum), as well as the chapbook Inside My Electric City (YesYes Books), and her poems and nonfiction have appeared in venues like Pleiades, Copper Nickel, New England Review, 32 Poems, Mississippi Review, and elsewhere. The recipient of fellowships and residencies from the Vermont Studio Center, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and the Studios of Key West, she was the 2018-2020 poet-in-residence at Idyllwild Arts Academy. She lives in Columbia, Missouri, where she studies nonfiction, poetry, and ecocriticism in Mizzou’s PhD program, but she calls New England home.
Alyse Bensel is the author of Rare Wondrous Things: A Poetic Biography of Maria Sibylla Merian (Green Writers Press, 2020) and three chapbooks. Her poems and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Alaska Quarterly Review, Cream City Review, South Dakota Review, and West Branch. She serves as Poetry Editor for Cherry Tree and teaches at Brevard College, where she directs the Looking Glass Rock Writers’ Conference.