Daniel Evans Pritchard

Daniel Evans Pritchard is a writer, translator, and editor living in Greater Boston. He’s the founding editor of The Critical Flame as well as a board member at Salamander Magazine and digital strategist for AGNI. His writing can be found in or is forthcoming from Harvard ReviewSlushpile, Prodigal, The Quarterly Conversation, Rain Taxi, and elsewhere. He tweets at @pritchard33.
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“Mississippi Gottdam”

after a painting of the same title by Mark Bradford

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how calm it feels

inside the white box

before the floodplain

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the warped water

whose fine striations

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trace the levy’s grip

as it frays

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into the scrawl

of an ever-

maddening tide

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syncopating

Turner’s more antique

anxieties

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expelling his

tight-oiled gulls

        that raven the drowning

and the drowned:

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this

a      contradiction

of that

ppppolive swell,

that battering amaranth:

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this aerial

hallucination—

ppppAmerica lies

flat

as a pennywrapper,

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America un-

conscienced as memorial—

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to see if one sees at all

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firestamps mark up

ppppa map of the dying

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and blistering bright

pocked oceanic fields

hold

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each body     like a pearl: no

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slavers’ masts

        scored into the storm

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nor leviathan’s pretty lips

nor black chains raised

over the breakers

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nor the tangerine sun

like a bomb:

pppppppppiinstead this

tremulous    bliss of

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silver and slate

        like a radio left on

        

repeating their names until

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Nina lands the beat

with her teeth:

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Can’t you see it?

        Can’t you feel it?

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