- Jude Hopkins
Poem: "The Over-Ripe Imagination in Buckle-Up Country" — Published in Timber Creek Review, Vol. 15.
The sun, like the hills, tempers the natives,
appearing only after cresting the Alleghenies
and departs long before turning in for the night,
taking the sky with it.
Here there are no tales of sunsets like bloody yolks
or ones stippling the dusk with magenta —
such scenes unfailingly compromised
by mountains or mist.
The ring of hills surrounding the town
serves as a golden mean,
muscling back the kind of trouble
born of unbounded heavens.
So the people here spend their lives longing
to feel a fire hot enough to burn diamonds —
All the while casting onto phantoms
their hooded glances, their bitten lips
and swear they smell the sea in every remnant
of a hurricane that comes here to die.