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Poem

Bella Li

SOUTH OF THE WATER

SOUTH OF THE WATER

SOUTH OF THE WATER

South of the water, Miss Myra lifts her hoop skirts across a minor abyss in the barroom floor. She sits delicately, whiskey sour in hand, near the window with the air blank and brooding (demoniac?) behind her. Outside the earth churns its muddy music; West Wind blowing, carrying the smell of burning and flesh, knives in the parlour, while an old slave bends to the ground, acutely watching the horizon with his ears. The sound that rises—clear, metallic, far down, down, down but coming up through the damp and the ice and six feet of frozen turnips—it goes: fan blades flicking, saloon doors swinging, ceiling shadows, hand around a drink—Miss Myra, teeth blinking, smiling like a villain.
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SOUTH OF THE WATER

South of the water, Miss Myra lifts her hoop skirts across a minor abyss in the barroom floor. She sits delicately, whiskey sour in hand, near the window with the air blank and brooding (demoniac?) behind her. Outside the earth churns its muddy music; West Wind blowing, carrying the smell of burning and flesh, knives in the parlour, while an old slave bends to the ground, acutely watching the horizon with his ears. The sound that rises—clear, metallic, far down, down, down but coming up through the damp and the ice and six feet of frozen turnips—it goes: fan blades flicking, saloon doors swinging, ceiling shadows, hand around a drink—Miss Myra, teeth blinking, smiling like a villain.

SOUTH OF THE WATER

Sponsors
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Hendrik Muller fonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Literature Translation Institute of Korea
Partners
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère