- Mason–Dixon Linesfirst meeting and the proposal
Some women suffer themselves foolstrying to hold a man
who floats between them like driftwood;whose happy tongue slicks
his catfish back; who constrictshis lover’s bones
as if a black rat snakewhile holding out magnolia
blossom & eucalyptus branch offerings—except
for Annie who is strong as a water oak;evergreen as pine.
*** [End Page 121]
The woman stands on the everlasting pierwith her back to him. When he walks
towards the edge, water lapshis combat boots up to the twice-tied
laces at his ankles. A hand-cupped ear,he is looking to tune her voice
to the right frequency. Hinged by her feeton the clapboard planks, she is
flexed for flight. In basic training,this is how Thomas learned to lean out of the belly
of a plane: heart first, as if lookingfor a reflection in water. He stands close
enough to grab her shoulder & twiststhe woman ’round in a great pirouette.
To finally see her face. When she turns,it is Annie & her words pierce him clear as fire
Seems like I been waitingfor you all this time. I been waiting
for you to come for me. When he seesAnnie again, he’ll seek her hand. [End Page 122]
A native of Columbia, South Carolina, DéLana R. A. Dameron is a writer and arts and culture administrator living in Brooklyn, New York. Dameron is the author of Weary Kingdom (2017) and her debut collection of poetry How God Ends Us was selected by Elizabeth Alexander for the 2008 South Carolina Poetry Book Prize. Dameron holds an MFA in poetry from New York University and a BA in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has conducted readings, workshops, and lectures across the United States, Central America, and Europe. www.delanaradameron.com.