Nancy Naomi Carlson


Fully formed from his rib bone,
I clung to his side, as river to shore,
even as currents venture forth
on their own. Or not entirely on their own,
riverbanks shaping the course of flight.
I could have drowned in the pull of this world
as he led me to thickets
that whirred with the tick of thrush; salt licks
that sprung from lichen-covered stone.
He taught me names of trees, a tangle of tones:
arborvitae, tree of life, ailanthus, tree of heaven.
He explained the bloom of living things.
Like a baby, I held and mouthed each word,
but by evening, a new kind of hunger evolved.

Nancy Naomi Carlson
Nancy Naomi Carlson's work has appeared in such journals as Poetry, Shenandoah, The Southern Review, Prairie Shooner, Chautauqua Literary Journal, Chelsea, River Styx, The Literary Review, Puerto del Sol, and The Greensboro Review. Her collection of poetry, Kings Highway, won the 1997 Washington Writers' Publishing House competition, and Complications of the Heart won the 2002 Texas Review Press' Robert Phillips Poetry Chapbook Prize. Imperfect Seal of Lips was the winner of the 2005 Tennessee Chapbook Prize. Nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2003, 2004, and 2005, she is an associate editor for Tupelo Press and an instructor at the Writer's Center in Bethesda, Maryland.



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Contributors' Notes

Carol Ashworth

E. Louise Beach

Sandra Beasley

Anne Becker

Mel Belin

Rick Cannon

Nancy Naomi Carlson

Norma Chapman

Christopher Conlon

Michael Davis

Martin Dickinson

Jehanne Dubrow

Moira Egan

Sean Enright

Perry Epes

Lillian Frankel

Martin Galvin

Rachel Galvin

Bernadette Geyer

Patricia Gray

Laurie Hurvitz

Tod Ibrahim

Bernard Jankowski

Lisa Kosow

Michael Lally

Hiram Larew

Michael H. Lythgoe

Ebby Malmgren

Dan Masterson

Ryan McAllister

Judith McCombs

Miles David Moore

Daniel Abdul-Hayy Moore

Heidi Mordhorst

Yvette Neisser

Judy Neri

Bonnie Nevel

Barbara J. Orton

Eric Pankey

Jacklyn Potter

Ellen Sazzman

J.D. Smith

Rose Solari

Alan Spears

Gary Stein

Adele Steiner

Mark Tarallo

Colette Thomas

Doug Wilkinson

Rhonda Williford

Terence Winch

Rosemary Winslow

Kathi Wolfe

Anne Harding Woodworth

Bill Wunder










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