Milky Way

Marguerite Scott


The first time
was already the last;
I could see it even then,
seconds after they pulled you out,
plucked star—buried, unburied—
little flame found still burning,
and how impossible it seemed
that I could become part river,
a tidal creek with grooves
snaking through, with milk
that would make its way.

And I knew from first latch
about the poem that would come later,
how we’d sit in this darkness,
toy turtle casting stars on your nursery sky,
how I’d remember the hot, gravelly beginnings,
the pull of unearthing oil, the collective hum
of all these months, becoming
a new sound now, a major seventh stretching
toward the beginning of forgetting,
toward reabsorption, toward death,
dry riverbed of fossils, and the two of us
carved out, finally, as separate bodies,
rocking still, this last time,
beneath the shaking stars.


Marguerite Scott is a native of Charleston, SC. She has worked as a piano instructor, a language arts teacher in Italy, and now, a teacher of poetry and composition at The College of Charleston. She received her Ph.D. from The Florida State University where she taught community-based poetry workshops in at-risk youth shelter facilities and women’s prisons. Her work has appeared in Feminist Studies, The Journal of Poetry Therapy, and The Evansville Review among others.




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