Kathryn de Lancellotti, The Rain Fell, the Floods Came

The Rain Fell, the Floods Came

my earthly
inheritance: your arms, your sigh, your heavy song
–Lee Herrick

I lost the lyric when I left my mother, entered
the fluorescent room.
I lost it with the first prick of the needle,
when the sun imploded
and became some kind of hole I was pulled from.
I lost it in church when I sang to a room full of strangers,
head submerged in communal waters.
I lost the lyric when I opened my legs for a man
I will not name, for the earth
we ravage, my God,
his holy thumb pressing us into the dirt.
I lost it for a child yanked from in-between, a boy
who calls me mother—
asks I turn the world red as the uterus,
as the sky we come from, as the rock
I was told to stand on.
But I built my house on the sand, never listened
when they said the floods would come.
And he came and he came and he came
and a belly became a home became heavy with song.

Kathryn de Lancellotti is a Pushcart Prize nominee, and a former recipient of the Cowell Press Poetry Prize and the George Hitchcock Memorial Poetry Prize. Her poems have appeared in Chicago Quarterly Press Review, Catamaran Literary Reader, The American Journal of Poetry, Porter Gulch Review, Rise Up Review, Cultural Weekly, Bending Genres and others. Her debut chapbook Impossible Thirst is forthcoming from Moon Tide Press in 2020. Kathryn resides in Cayucos, California with her son Jade.


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