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I Don’t Fear Death

by Sandra Beasley

But what I’m really picturing
is Omaha: field after field

of sorghum crisp to my touch
and one house on a high hill,

sheets on the line. You tell me
everything ceases, that even

our fingernails give up, but
what I really believe is that

we keep growing: infinite corn,
husk yielding to green husk.

I look back on the miles
connecting me to Earth, think

I’d have never worn those shoes.
I slip them off like anything

borrowed. The clouds are thin
and yellow, smelling of

fireworks and salt. In Omaha,
the town votes me Queen of

Everything. You are the slow
dance, the last ring of smoke:

to be held tight, and then only
this colder air between us.


Sandra Beasley won the 2007 New Issues Poetry Prize for her book Theories of Falling, selected by Marie Howe. Her poems have also been featured on Verse Daily and in the 2005 Best New Poets. Awards include the 2006 Elinor Benedict Poetry Prize from Passages North and fellowships to Vermont Studio Center, Virginia Center for Creative Arts, and the Millay Colony. She lives in Washington, DC, where she received her MFA from American University and serves on the editorial staff of The American Scholar. (4/2008)

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