Aubrey Ryan




Of church, we

know pine. Of voice


in the dark,

we know owl


on the cusp

of our sleep.


There are four

winds, four


faces of the year,

four compass


points from which

to walk away.


Of sea, we

know the body


& the coin

at the center


of the body: all

mineral & bright.


Let me loose

to the hills. I’ll


mine them. Before

rail. Before bison


shot from the distance

of rail. Our soles locked


& stemming down.



sea of hawk-hued

grass. Say


how we made it here

shining to shining.


AUBREY RYAN is the author of Good Beast, winner of the Phantom Books Breitling Chapbook Prize. Her work has appeared in Best New Poets, Anti-, Matter, Hobart, Booth, New Madrid, El Aleph, Quarterly West, Consequence, Diagram, Kindred, Phantom, Squat Birth Journal, The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, and featured on broadsides by Team Nerd Letterpress. Aubrey is the winner of the Booth Poetry Prize and has been three times nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She lives in Iowa with her husband, two small sons, and a garden.