3rd Place Poetry 2017 Summer Contest The rumbling control of this poem is as fascinating as what lurks underneath. By exploring the fracturing interiority of marriage and domesticity against the violent exteriority of the natural world, we see the frightening overlaps of loss and desire. Here we find that sometimes what most wounds us is within ourselves, our unsettling capacity for suffering; our willingness to settle. Safiya Sinclair
Every sound that wakes us we call settling: lumber shaking its last tremors of the forest, the rabbit pups whimpering in the garden, fox-killed one by one until there’s nothing but a trampled burrow, piles of shedding. These first nights are all about adjustment, recognizing the empty stillness as something we’re supposed to fill with our own creation. It’s normal for newlyweds to feel farthest from each other when suffering to be close. We could pretend we’re teenagers in a house that we broke into, the bottle of rum swiped from a father’s liquor cabinet, our nakedness the only important thing. But at some point, finding a place to start stops being the problem. Look at the wedding bands we bought, the must-have inlay of petrified rosewood. The salesman said it was all the rage, natural is in. We thought we wouldn’t care how they creak a little when we spin them on our fingers. We call that settling too.
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