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Notes While Riding in a Car at Sunset

BY CATHERINE BRAMS
 

Middlebury College, '18
2015 Adroit Prize for Poetry: Editors List

 

It is winter and the cornfields are on fire.

The sky is a crescendo of violet smoke,
the fields a white crust.
I am locked to the earth and it to me
and darkness sprays the fields

and I am alone.

Even when I am happy I run away
from the inevitable failures of my life. They stand

unblinking, trees with roots deep, the cornfields
on a winter evening. How old were you
the last time you caught on fire.

It is winter and the fire is gone and the corn
is gone and you—

I am nineteen and I am not
quite alive. Drive me towards the flames
and out of darkness, if you find the right road
it may never catch up.

I am not of this world, yet there is smoke
in my lungs and flame at my fingertips

and I must be alive to be this close to death.

 

 

Catherine Brams grew up near Boston. Her work is not forthcoming anywhere, because she's new to this whole publishing thing. That being said, she has been writing poetry for most of her life, and is working on a novel that will never be read by anyone else. She is currently a student at Middlebury College, where she will most likely study Political Science and Philosophy.