Skip to main content

Virginia Chase Sutton


We are all beautiful at seventeen,
our flawless skins attached to willing
bones and sinews. Some of us are
waiting for our chance, for someone
to say, let’s make out like a couple

of teenagers, or the stranger with
a bottle of Boone’s Farm Apple Wine
he will share though you are underage.
Or the joint passing around the room,
making you happily relaxed in the

front-closing lace bra you are willing
to shed for the unknown, the chance
at real love, not what you left behind
at home, your father missing you,
smoking cigarette after cigarette.

You do not know yet how lovely you are
with soft brown hair and blue eyes
flecked with squiggles. And though
your body is not like the striking grace
of cheerleaders back home, it stuns

with dazzling breasts and big areoles
that men will kiss and love. You will
learn of this loveliness even as you scorn
those who are not worthy. Later, your friends
will grow into their flesh as you grow

away, already ahead, open and waiting,
discovering a taste for a certain sort of man.
He is the one who will hurt you
with his attention/inattention, leaving
you alone some weekends when you

want his body and crazy kisses. What
he suggests you do over and over, though
you have performed for your father
for years. It is all new, this perfection,
a body that happily does as you bid,

no thought or chance of illness, destruction
or loss. Love your gorgeousness.
It will not come again---this purity of spirit,
this holiness, this beam and shine
beacons from your eyes, your eyes.

Virginia Chase Sutton's second book, What Brings You to Del Amo, winner of the Morse Poetry Prize, has been reissued as a free ebook by Doubleback Books. Embellishments is her first book and Of a Transient Nature is her third. Down River is her chapbook. Seven times nominated for the Pushcart Prize, her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Paris Review, Ploughshares, QU, Mom Egg Review, The Laurel Review, and The Comstock Review, among many other literary publications, journals, and anthologies. Sutton's poems have won a poetry scholarship to Bread Loaf, the National Poet Hunt, the Allen Ginsberg Award, and the Paumanock Visiting Writer's Award and Reading Series. She has received fellowships from the Ragdale Foundation, Vermont Studio Center, Vermont College of Fine Arts, and Writers at Work. Awards include three times from Poets & Writers, Arizona Humanities Council, Arizona Commission on the Arts, and many others. She lives in Tempe, Arizona.


Popular posts from this blog

David Oliver Cranmer

Not Just Another Playlist Often, I sit in my swivel chair looking out the window, while jazz, country, or rock music plays. This pleasure goes on for many hours a mystic trance of sorts streaming—the glue maintaining my soul. I turn the best songs into playlists (once we called them mix tapes) puzzling over the perfect order. Does Satchmo’s “What a Wonderful World” kick off my latest list or make it the big soulful closer? And does “Mack the Knife” go higher in the set than “Summertime?” That’s an Ella Fitzgerald duet! “Foolishness? No, it’s not” whether you are climbing a tree to count all the leaves or tapping to beats. These are the joys that bring inner peace and balance (to a cold universe) lifting spirits skyward. David Oliver Cranmer ’s poems, short stories, articles, and essays have appeared in publications such as Punk Noir Magazine , The Five-Two: Crime Poetry Weekly , Needle: A Magazine of Noir , LitReactor , Macmillan’s Criminal Element , and

Corey Mesler

  I think of you tonight, my Beats I think of you tonight, my Beats, and I am grateful.  I walked the narrow lanes of Academia and never felt at home. There were men and women in the flowerbeds, their heads full of theorems and poems. There were teachers who could lift their own weight in prose.  I was lonely. I was too loose.  I was a lad from the faraway country of Smarting. But I had you as so many before me. I had you and I knew secret things. I could count on you like a percussion. And now I want to say: I love you.  If not for you, what? I want to say. If Allen Ginsberg did not exist it would be necessary to invent him.  COREY MESLER has been published in numerous anthologies and journals including Poetry, Gargoyle, Five Points, Good Poems American Places, and New Stories from the South . He has published over 25 books of fiction and poetry. His newest novel, The Diminishment of Charlie Cain , is from Livingston Press. He also wrote the screenplay for We Go On , which won The Me

Amy Holman

My mother made herself the deer with a broken leg  We saw a deer through the pane into someone else’s yard. The leg moved like a tube sock pinned to the hip  and half filled with sticks. I did not like to see it suffer, either. She was upset —my mother —that no one helped  the doe. Was it a mother, too? As if we were the first to observe the scene. We weren’t. All had been told to let her be. My mother had suffered a destruction  of the self, a divorce, and no one cared. That wasn’t true.  We were grown, on our own. I agree it was hard. Yet  in those moments of a cold November day, we watched  a doe, disabled and enduring, walk across a yard and eat  a hedge. I wish she could have seen it like that. Amy Holman is the author of the collection, Wrens Fly Through This Opened Window (Somondoco Press, 2010) and four chapbooks, including the prizewinning Wait for Me, I’m Gone (Dream Horse Press, 2005). Recent poems have been in or accepted by Blueline,