Rachel Cloud Adams

I live in Baltimore, Maryland, and work in Washington, DC, where I am the editor at a nonprofit advocacy association and the editor of Lines + Stars, a literary journal. My poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The North American Review, Salamander, Blueline, The Conium Review, Hummingbird, Memoir, and elsewhere. I am a Pushcart Prize nominee and the author of two chapbooks, What is Heard (Red Bird Press, 2013) and Sleeper (Flutter Press, 2015).

 

Tectonic

Pope-Leighey House, Alexandria, Virginia

 

The carved-out highway,

hemmed on either side by upturned earth

and thrumming with a grinding sound,

folds against us like the forearm of the wind,

curving along the house’s southeast slope,

buffeting its scimitar garden, its cypress panels,

its brick the color of a forest path.

 

But here in the magnolia shade,

there is a silence dangling, and the house

is a mobile suspended above the ground,

revolving as the shadows revolve.

 

We stand under the low ceiling that forms

the entranceway, its hands close above

our heads, and know the house is older

than the hill, as old as the air that moves

around it, that has blown up from the river –

air that hides in clay and sandstone,

smoothing the landscape.

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