“Return” by Ray Ball

After García Lorca

A cool breeze – so welcome
after hot days in Andalucía
enters my body, helps
stretch the folded accordian

of my spine. I will look
the rose bush in its face
past all the obsessive gnats,
the bees bumping in orgiastic gratitude.

Why does a sepulcher
of the past haunt me even here?
The art of dying requires
heaps of human skulls

in the same way that the sky
assassinates itself over
and over again, somehow hoping
each time, it will be different.



Ray Ball grew up in a house full of snakes. She is a history professor, a Best of the Net and Pushcart-nominated poet, and an editor at Alaska Women Speak. Her chapbook Tithe of Salt came out with Louisiana Literature Press in the spring of 2019, and she has recent publications in Human/Kind Journal, Rivet, and SWWIM Every Day. You can find her in the classroom, in the archives, or on Twitter @ProfessorBall.

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