Chris Petruccelli



There is an Eden everywhere, I know,

but I like to think I know that the real Eden

rests in the hollers of Tennessee.

Or maybe even in the gentle rise

and fall of Missouri—that once dead state

now understood to be full of life.

In Knoxville, limestone becomes marble

while Columbia turns corn to white rock—

whole fields of meerschaum level out

like the final gasp of a bellow.

I rode the last of that Midwestern breath to the North,

to Alaska. I swapped the rise of Appalachia

and the fold of the Ozark Plateau for ice and spruce.

And now, it comes to this—

becoming a prodigal far away in Fairbanks

where I spurned the South in hope of something more—

always more, and more is less and less,

I know that now, here, in this frozen Gethsemane

and all I can think to do, is beg.


Chris Petruccelli is the author of the chapbook Action at a Distance (Etchings Press). His poetry has appeared in Appalachian Heritage, Cider Press Review, Nashville Review, Still: The Journal, and elsewhere. In his free time, Chris enjoys drinking whiskey and smoking cigarettes with older women.

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