Cheval de Frise
Miles Brewton House, Charleston SC
These soft-spoken spikes, a century dull,
baked black in sun of this peninsula,
remember themselves body-ready, sharp
to burst between thin bones of a palm, slick
to red with the rich energy of veins.
Forged to cage wilted azalea, paint cracked
over wood, wrought to be the inky ribs
to preserve gray lungs beneath. They glisten,
solid under the tang of tourists’ pink
hands, these frozen strands of Atlantic dark
that sling themselves skyward, singing the salt
prayer for their iron skins: Let us crystallize,
alter these elements, fuse for us fresh pulses,
that we may become more than what was meant.
Dorsey Craft holds an MFA from McNeese State University, where she was awarded the Joy Scantlebury Prize for poetry. In addition to Ninth Letter Web Edition, Dorsey's poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Crab Orchard Review, the minnesota review, Whiskey Island, Vinyl, CALYX, and Notre Dame Review. She is currently a PhD student in poetry at Florida State, where she teaches composition and reads for the Southeast Review.