Dee Stribling


Yellow bright sun pools on hard-swept dirt.
Drops of gold like butter spreading,
burning, melting, and cooking my naked brown
body as I fry in this skillet of dust.
My chest presses to earth soaking in heat
until it ignites, searing all corners of this Garden of Eden.
I grovel in the dust, go deep into warm dirt,
feeling it rub rough and hard into my skin.
Wanting so bad to melt and curl like little fried chitlin' pieces,
burnt with smoke still rising up from bone and flesh
skinned and raw but cooking in God's woman fire.
What I want comes from some deep well
filled with pokeberry juice streaked purple against my face,
tasting bitter sweat as it pours down around the red beads
woven into my hair. Wanting so bad to hear the crying wind
stir the dust into a whirl of burning cinders darkening
the sky above until thunder drums bring down the crows
flying in to peck away my burned flesh until bone bleaches white
and I'm left staring at the sun soaking the ground below with tears.

Dee Stribling is a writer of prose and poetry. Her chapbook Appalachian Picture Book is available from Finishing Line Press. A Sundress Academy for the Arts poetry winner, her work has also appeared in 200 New Mexico Poems and other collections. She is a "poet runner" in the Tupelo Press 30/30 project and is busily working on a childhood memoir (full of spirit dreams), a women in sports documentary, and more poetry. Although happiest trekking about anywhere outside and then writing about it, she makes it home on occasion to take care of Bo (tough-guy cat) and various other country critters.

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