Abigail Minor

The valleys go slack
with flowers of fog

     white violet
violet violets, secret

victory for plants, the quietest
creatures, victory for winter-

berry, red as buttons through the trees.
     Every senator and judge has buttons

               to unbutton,
early November and it’s the last

leaves down to burning
clatter. I came this morning

     for the first time in a long time, waiting
     to find out who’s president

I want to be stronger, a stranger
and more simple.

There’s a version of time
we all hate

and can’t get out of
it’s not like the water

shining, shivery
and burning silver. Into the same

new time I look up
from the railroad trestle that crosses the creek;

a pageant of long, lit
filaments drift

high up through the air
from west to east.

What are they?
     They are glazed with sun.

They are the quiet genitals of this moment,
     the tired genitals of the citizens

counting ballots, behind them the mountain
is in shadow,

through a blaze of courtesy
I touch them paying

     to the root.

Abby Minor lives in the ridges and valleys of central Pennsylvania, where she works on poems, essays, paintings, quilts, and projects for reproductive justice. Her writings appear or are forthcoming in Fence, Cut Bank, The American Poetry Review, Bitch, So to Speak, Feminist Studies, and elsewhere. The granddaughter of Appalachian tinkerers and Yiddish-speaking New Yorkers, she is Bitch Media’s 2018 Writing Fellow in Sexual Politics and the author of the poetry chapbooks Real Words for Inside (Gap Riot Press) and Plant Light, Dress Light (dancing girl press).

© Variant Literature Inc 2021