Virginia Epithalamium

by Alyse Knorr

In the creek of herons and snakes we chose our children’s names—
saw them lift over us into the pines and down the dirt road
over Styles by Judy and Miriam’s Massage; over Lamb Exterminating
and the tiny diner where we drank milkshakes and did not hold hands;
over the church sign an immoral society breeds a corrupt government;
over all the fake colonial people in Williamsburg and the square
of grass near the highway where Powhatan’s Village once stood,
where Pocahontas lived before she married England; over Ordinary
and the Hogg Funeral Home and Crematory smoking, flames
reaching up through the trees and the smell indescribable except
through the onlookers’ faces; over the homes of deer and raccoons
and bears and orange cats raising their babies in dumpsters—saw them
lift up and leave, traveling farther than we ever thought we could.

ALYSE KNORR is the author of Copper Mother (Switchback Books 2015), Alternates (dancing girl press 2014), and Annotated Glass (Furniture Press Books, 2013). Her work appears in Denver Quarterly, Hayden’s Ferry Review, ZYZZYVA, and The Southern Poetry Anthology: Georgia. Alyse received her MFA from George Mason University. She teaches at the University of Alaska Anchorage and serves as a co-founding editor of Gazing Grain Press.