I Wake to Bury You Again: Featured Poetry by Cori A. Winrock

January 14, 2020 | 1 book mentioned

Our series of poetry excerpts continues with a poem from Little Envelope of Earth Conditions, the new collection by Cori A. Winrock. Her lines loll with the rhythm of grief: “I wake to bury / you again, stumbling // for the rotary receiver on its vine— / swinging from the wall of a house.” A synthesis of delight and delirium; memory and mourning.


+All By Myself I am a Huge Camellia +

Some days no one is my mother
but my mother. & my mother is no

longer a distance that cinches itself—
the flush on flush of the new

fever, the baby’s first floral-
heat nursed down—with a telephone

call. I could not gather, could not
collect your voice in fits

in tinder in sleep. So the flowerbeds:
empty. The endless ringing: all hesitation,

no digging. I wake to bury
you again, stumbling

for the rotary receiver on its vine—
swinging from the wall of a house

I left burning small: votive
light throwing off no sound.

In the yard the petals all flame
& lantern. In the crib

my daughter moro-s herself
in heartbeat cycles, limbs sparked

apart with shock. The smoke of us both
rises: like a moon: like a pulse. & I am

alone in our surveillance, our time-
lapsed fevering burst into a single bloom

: the resurrected echo-light of your ambulance
dissolving through the walls.

“+ All By Myself I am a Huge Camellia +” from Little Envelope of Earth Conditions by Cori A. Winrock, Alice James Books, 2020. 

is a contributing editor for The Millions. He is the culture editor for Image Journal, and a contributor to the Catholic Herald (UK). He has written for Rolling Stone, GQ, The Paris Review, The Atlantic, Esquire, and the Kenyon Review. He is the author of Longing for an Absent God and Wild Belief. Follow him at @nickripatrazone and find more of his writing at nickripatrazone.com.

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