The Rio Grande (South)

The editors of America are pleased to present the winner of the 2017 Foley Poetry Award, given in honor of William T. Foley, M.D. The Foley Poetry Award is underwritten by a generous grant from the William T. Foley Foundation.

Cascabel of liquid days
weaving inaudible Zs
in your long slow passages
where your scales
weigh in the balances
the light and grays
reflecting quartz and dust,
how do you fuse
two visions into one tongue
forked now and then
with such thirst
wandering through
this long brown chasm?

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With rain you might wake
and wash the foothills,
for heaven’s sake
rolling over stones,
the ocotillo jealous
of your distance, the roots
of juniper and willow
reaching to touch
the ragged hem
of your garment.
Iridescent,
as if risen,
you leave behind
your holy ghost.

 

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