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AT THE WIND TOWER, ATHENS

Finally they go in contrary directions,
east and west, each breezing
into the life of someone else.

And even then each remembers the same scenes:
the dip from snow into the hot spring,
the hotel room in the blue-olive-tree valley,
the tzatziki and wine under a string of lightbulbs,
the wedding band thrown at him in the parting.

The throwing is in the forgetting,
but the ring, gold with three sapphires,
lies extant somewhere—
in a bureau drawer, a coin cup, deep
in the middens of lives. The abandoned

is safe—like ashes that after the flame
are the deadweight log
liftable on a strong wind.

-Anne Harding Woodworth is the author of two books of poetry and two chapbooks. Another of her books, SPARE PARTS, A Novella in Verse, is due to come out in October, 2008 (Turning Point). Her essays and poetry have been published in journals such as TriQuarterly, Painted Bride Quarterly, Cimarron Review, Antigonish Review, and The Dalhousie Review. Woodworth is a member of the Poetry Board at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C.

Doina
A type of traditional Romanian melody

They load the dead
On rough low trundles at night,
Laden with stones
So that they will not walk again.

The cold skin of dead faces
In moonlight by the rough, dark-powered Danube—
The cart squeaks and thuds, stops,
Throbs over mud as thick as tied sacks.

The fierce blood of language
Is the river’s song this night
While trowels ring on stone
And scrape clogged rivermud.

The tour guide laughs frankly:
Stupid peasants. He is modern,
Taking the road at a trot,
The legends with salt: fearless.

The others are filled with it,
The fear, till their eyes turn white
And their hands come knotty like knuckled wood.
They watch

For any unwanted resurrection
Among the naked limbs
Stacked like ricks of wood.
There has been much death this year,

Even for those used to the carts,
The stains, the riverbank’s unclimbable slip,
The lean bones and blooded tongues.
The ringing of shovel on stone ends.

They tilt the cart downhill.
The harvest god accepts their offer.
Inch by inch the dead sink.
Coveted by the earth.

-Savannah Thorne’s poetry has appeared in journals such as Conclave, The Iowa Rag, The Missouri Review, Potpourri, The Wisconsin Review, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, The Lyric, Parabola and The Atlanta Review. Thorne holds a B.A. from the University of Iowa where she studied in the Writers’ Workshop under Jorie Graham, James Galvin, Gerald Stern, and others, as well as a M.A. from DePaul University and a M.S. from Norwich University.

Season in Sussex

That winter I had nothing to do
but study picture window sheep
grazing on the wet downs
or put on boots and slicker
and walk between the green fields
to Lewes over a chalk path
that unwound like ribbon
so high the railway below seemed a toy.

At the High Street when I passed
the house of Anne Boleyn, I drew
my scarf close around my neck,
her short life marked there by a plaque
next to the gray and silent church.

Sometimes I’d stop to read and drink
tea in the crowded shop
by a bridge over the Ouse,
study its metallic surface
and think about Virginia’s last walk
into dark water one afternoon
Leonard was in London.

All that damp and chilled season
I dreamed them under constant clouds
that cast shadows over the sheep,
dreamed we held onto the hills
on thin ropes of rain.

The sheep stood as still as the stones.
Sometimes I didn’t breathe.

-Beth Paulson lives, writes, and teaches workshops in the San Juan Mountains of Western Colorado. Her poems have appeared widely in small magazines and anthologies. Her second collection, The Company of Trees, was published in 2004 and she received a nomination for the 2007 Pushcart Prize.

Lament For My Sister At Harvest

Hungry from a touch of rain, water strains
Against the rocks in the seasonal creek at daybreak;
I return to the orchard, to face the heaviness
Of plums, the pull and the weight. By dawn, by dusk,
I have seen my older sister covet her solitude
And hold her fingers to a stem. She need not stay
Under the trees to spend her life alone.

The pulling up of the body is sufficient
To wound her bones. Those tall branches
Take from the turned soil more than minerals;
Fueled by the flame of fall, fruits drop,
Lie to rot beside her wicker basket.
The dry season holds her downward in a bushel
Of brightness
Under October’s flight of rain.

-Gabrielle Myers has been published in Caesura, Produce, and Art for Autism. Last summer she attended the Squaw Valley Writers’ Workshops. Myers is currently pursuing an MA in English at the University of California, Davis, working on her first manuscript of poems, and cooking in restaurants.

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