About the Feature

Bees crowd the statuary, topiary.
White trees where the orchard used to be.
Low hills spotted with honey, the barn

roof lined with snow. This was our limit.
In the city, where women try their luck
at video slots, each machine pays back

a little to take the whole lot. Seeking
God’s colors, their school’s, girls chase
their nun into the street. Still the water

rises. Rain ticks the cold tin. Hail drops beat
the pale road, high colonial railway.
Tonight I swallow hunger like a starved cat,

a dry crop folded in the field. Cemetery
workers, their drowned labor. Dandelions
in late bloom. Look up, find polestar.

Down, the lake’s infinite spool. The horses,
if there are horses, sleep the night through.

About the Author

John James teaches at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky. His work appears or is forthcoming in Boston Review, the Kenyon Review, Diagram, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Best New Poets 2013, and elsewhere. He holds an MFA in poetry from Columbia University, where he received an Academy of American Poets Prize.