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  • Glade Creek Falls
  • Joseph Bathanti (bio)

In a canyon of the Gorge prills Glade Creek Falls— beholden, as is proper, to the New.

Only the Nile is older. Obscenely young, prey to impulse, we indenture to the Glade—

our trysting place—and to each other. Like the Bible, like Mythography, we truss, foretold, in writ scrolls of eternity.

True love among children is psilocybin; what we eat wild from this earth claims us.

Outcroppings lounge in cloud mantles. The water attempts modesty, but may not veil itself.

It sprays from its secret cave, evanescent, quicksilver. Twisted Hemlocks screw into bedrock.

Poplars loose leaves over deep green pools. The sun is barred, but for shadow, mottled. On a fainting couch of rock

we strike our troth. Yet whelped as I am in the quaking red syllables of Gospel, Fayette County, [End Page 116]

I know sin is black as bituminous. Just so, I remain my Savior’s primal witness. The world hatches, named and fabled. [End Page 117]

Joseph Bathanti

Joseph Bathanti is former Poet Laureate of North Carolina and the award-winning author of eight books of poetry, the novels East Liberty and Coventry, a book of stories titled The High Heart, and two books of nonfiction titled They Changed the State: The Legacy of North Carolina’s Visiting Artists, 1971–1995 and Half of What I Say is Meaningless. A new novel, The Life of the World to Come, is forthcoming.



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pp. 116-117
Launched on MUSE
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