Stephanie Yue Duhem

After Derek Walcott

The sky—blue as a cotton dress, taut over
the torso of a pearl-colored girl, a surplice
of gravy on her Cupid’s bow—gives cover
to our early steps in the South. The sun is
ecumenical here; all steeples stretch
for its touch. We have heard of angels near-
by cloaked as oaks, boasting beards of lush
and velveteen moss. But first we steer
toward green vines of ironwork, fretting
the fronts of pretty manses, with windows
slim and dressed in comely fabrics, something
debutantes would wear, not us. We crescendo
through the city, unmake plates of okra and cod,
sear our hands on the black trunks of cannons,
then the bronze boles of palm trees. Of my old
and future loves I tell you, under starched awnings.
Stephanie Yue Duhem is writing out of Austin, TX. She can be found online at