To Err on the Side of Peace
What was dead has fallen. What was light, lifted wing.
In the end, oiled birds stippled slinky shore indecent.
In the beginning, Tiger Beetles, Salmonflies, imago, hailed well, yet
we fell under—Sunline, stray thunderstorms, roiled, crestfallen—
trailed, tailed, shadowed, skulked fossil wakes—unease a slumber.
In the belly of tomorrow, we pulled the world into herself.
Naissance slept imperiled, still. Still sleeps.
There was more to breaking surface than facing strike, wake.
Frantic pitch, surrender, a million eels, solar flared, in radiant muse,
shallows slipped so distant we pleaded with Gar, bargained
mercy over misery, what was lake remain, what sea recede—
we sang here.
ContributorAllison Adelle Hedge Coke
ALLISON ADELLE HEDGE COKE’s books include Streaming, Blood Run, Off-Season City Pipe, Dog Road Woman, Sing: Poetry from the Indigenous Americas, Effigies, Effigies II, and Rock, Ghost, Willow, Deer. Awards include an American Book Award, Native Writers Circle of the Americas, a 2015 Pen Southwest Book Award, and a 2016 Library of Congress Witter Bynner Fellowship. She teaches for VCFA MFA in Writing & Publishing, Red Earth MFA, and as Visiting Writer for SWP Naropa.