This Side of Texas

Written By: Tara Tatum

The gulf is swollen

with Mississippi mud,


the men measured

by the creases of blood,


compost, and the hard

callouses on their hands.


Young mothers learn

to carry a child with a left hip


and forearm. Prayers uttered

with fever, a cocked rifle,


and a flask are answered

in the thickening of air.

Tara Tatum grew up in Beaumont, Texas and received her M.A. in English Literature at Lamar University. She currently lives in Gainesville, FL and is an MFA candidate in poetry at the University of Florida. She has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize through Able Muse Anthology and her work is found in The Texas Review and is forthcoming in Chiron Review, Southwestern American Literature and Subtropics.