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About this poet

Chelsea Dingman is the author of Thaw (University of Georgia Press, 2017), which was selected by Allison Joseph as a winner of the National Poetry Series. She teaches at the University of South Florida and lives in Tampa, Florida.

And What If I Spoke of the Hours

that we might’ve been together 
at the union hall, with the beer

bottles and the night that didn’t fall
away? I might’ve saved you from

that car ride to the end of this calm

world. Would we have been happy?
The morning you died, I slept.

I got the kids up for school in the dark. 
There were hours that I thought

you were alive. I keep thinking
about the cost of living. Your body,

unwrung and above me. Clothes
scattered like the hours you were

missing. What is happiness?
What I count on is the dark. The light.

Wanting to live anyway. The river
in my teeth and the reasonable grass

under my feet like someone I loved
once, impossibly alive.

Copyright © 2018 Chelsea Dingman. Reprinted with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in The Southern Review, Autumn 2018.

Copyright © 2018 Chelsea Dingman. Reprinted with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in The Southern Review, Autumn 2018.

Chelsea Dingman

Chelsea Dingman is the author of Thaw (University of Georgia Press, 2017). She lives in Tampa, Florida.

by this poet

poem

What does it mean to say we know the properties
of ice, of snow? The wheat berries piled in metal bins

in the silos. The house on a corner lot, properly
broken down, the septic tank leaking

into the closets for years, rats in the attic, box
upon box upon box of belongings that belong

poem

Every minute or so, a hallelujah
dies in someone’s mouth. Every minute or so, a gunshot.
            A ceasefire. A tire shreds

                        on the highway, & pieces flit like sparrows
across the sky. Silly me. I thought
                                                we

poem
	Church of the Holy Spirit, Rohatyn 1924

You enter to escape
the cold & find a canvas of St. John,
                  his hands unsealed

to write. Other icons,
painted in vibrant reds, mounted
                  on wooden walls’ slick gloss. All white

men, suffering and suffered. Christ,
stripped.