Stephanie McCarley Dugger


Let’s begin with the heart,

                            compact and chambered

                         as though there are rooms

      dedicated to one thing,

then another.            I want to be the course

of your body-bound veins,     to burn

           around you.        I want to climb

the great gears of clouds       up

and up,              let the sun grind me back

down—            powder and light.

                                                             I hardly know

how to change.                 You said

at least one of us should be sound.

                                                                 Yesterday when I cut

the snake in two with the mower,

                         there was surprise, then

         regret.                 What do we do

                                      with a cleaved body? I asked.

Although you didn’t know either,

                                           you suggested birds.


Stephanie McCarley Dugger - Redemption [Page 64]


Stephanie McCarley Dugger’s first collection of poetry, Either Way You’re Done, is forthcoming from Sundress Publications. Her chapbook, Sterling (Paper Nautilus, 2015), was winner of the 2014 Vella Chapbook contest. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Arts & Letters, Cider Press Review, Gulf Stream, Meridian, The Southeast Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, Taos Journal of International Poetry and Art, and other journals. She is an assistant professor at Austin Peay State University, where she teaches writing and literature, and is Assistant Poetry Editor for Zone 3 Press.