a table is set in the middle of an image
of the high plains. clouds white and clouds purpling
sit at the wide horizon. low roll of timpani.
the table is covered in white billowing
in wind caught like the hem of a dress caught
like hair unpinned. there are grasses in hummocks
clear to the heavy sky. on the table
a heavy candelabra black weighs down
the shroud white like a sail like a crisp
button-down come untucked and stuck in time.
a page turned between movements. a cough.
there is a gash in the earth at the bottom
of the image a crack zagging toward the table
scouring the grasses. a simple case of the earth
opening up and swallowing. I stand
in front of the image. my hair loose caught
in a scouring wind. the hem of my dress billows
behind me. the fabric traces my topography
rolling landscape of blue silk. I am caught
at the top of a breath my chest high.
there is no one at the table in the image
stark against the blue sky at the top.
clear soaring soprano. I stand outside
the image in silence like a gash.
I cannot reach the table and there are no chairs
on which to sit. my mouth is wide
at the top of a breath and the note is caught
in heavy quiet. I cannot make a sound.
Gabrielle Freeman’s poetry has been published in many journals, most recently in Hobart, storySouth, and Waxwing. She won the 2015 Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition, and she has been nominated twice for Best of the Net. When She Was Bad, her first book, will be published by Press 53 in 2016. Gabrielle lives with her family in Eastern North Carolina.