Anna Claire Hodge

ELEGY FOR INNOCENCE, OUTER BANKS

My manicured nails shock pink
            against the double clear of a tumbler

of vodka. Your canoe-carrying
            hands, the bitten nubs, cradle swirled

blown glass. You suck at it like
            a giving nipple, blow the sweet whorls

at my face, open and wide as when receiving
            a kiss. No paved roads, and while stuck

in this rented house in the sand, our skin
            grows too apparent. We stare

at wildlife. A dozen wasps you kill
            as I perch on a bar stool, porpoises

that surface, the slick grey moons
            of their backs that pop forth,

to show us, for a moment, what was underneath
            the white-capped peaks

of the near black Atlantic. The island’s
            wild Spanish mustangs nap in the warm dirt

of the lawn. Because you do not love me
            and I cannot bear to hear it, you read

the newspaper aloud: there’s been a killing
            that shocked the five hundred locals.

Three horses, high-powered rifle, a mind gone awry
            that was never caught. Like Britney on the cover

of the Us Weekly I paw through over breakfast
            at the diner as you tear into biscuits and gravy.

Her bald head gleams, lit by streetlights
            as she beats the side of a paparazzo’s van

with an umbrella. Across the restaurant,
            a table of lifeguards rises to leave.

They toss fives and tens to pay for plates
            of waffles and coffee, then stride toward

the door, the blue of their windbreakers
            flooding the exit.
 
 

Anne Claire HodgeAnna Claire Hodge is a PhD student at Florida State University and the recipient of a Tennessee Williams Scholarship to the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Prairie Schooner, The Journal, diode, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Drunken Boat, and Willow Springs, among others. Her poems have been anthologized in Myrrh, Mothwing Smoke: Erotic Poems, It Was Written: Poetry Inspired by Hip-Hop, and Best New Poets 2013. Read more about Anna Claire and her writing at www.annaclairehodge.com

 
 
 
 

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