Amy Jo Trier-Walker lives and works on a tree and herb farm in Indiana and is the author of two chapbooks: Trembling Ourselves into Trees (Horse Less Press, 2015) and One Winter Night in the Pines (The Dandelion Review, 2016). She is the winner of the 2016 Permafrost New Alchemy Contest, and her work can be found in New American Writing, Caliban online, Salt Hill, Tupelo Quarterly, and inter|rupture, among others.
November 16, 2016
bury our names in the night so only tinctures can find them
sometimes I forget I have hair and then I listen
she will listen with her shadow emptying drilling the trees
teeth rust without
life on the sill the pipes ask pulling spores how to pack themselves
from brittle water
it costs me all the cold nights
the tincture of my iris
reading the flour I never buy
earwigs of the spined sleeve
sent from the water spinning up
through buried walls
this all before the charcoal-gathering within me
smudge that wind its trickling shadows
brightening as sudden-shudder rupt
I thought they were coming after into us
salted no-moon and stars yet brighter
brighter singing through anvil light of pitch
dark name, the night-draughts here to stumble flicked back and
nights know you tincture you from me, back to me, to leave me
collapse the voice with wolves in it crossed out and tracked
hinging a cistern in the throat guttering shovel
here, hold open your throat
I have dust for your dilating shadow
I have dug our own ghosting-road circling so still
"Bury our names" is one poem from a series created from dictation while on my nightly walks with the dogs. I believe the form, its building up on itself and then silence, wondering, and declaration again building, manifests because of the terrain I was walking, for, at the time, I was living in the northern Indiana dunes with their rush and settle, rush and settle mandate on walking. And I think voice plays such a strong role because the poem was dictated; I had to feel each word coming from me to write it later, which adds a richness to the sound captured on the page.
As for the subject matter, this series explores having to leave the dunes, and wanting to leave behind a ghost to walk my nightly paths for me. By this point in the series, it seems to me that the ghost has taken on the narration of the walks at points, or that they are one and the same. I just pray she's still out there every night, circling, circling, burying our names under each footprint.
Glass: A Journal of Poetry is published weekly by Glass Poetry Press.
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