Devil’s Lake

Spring 2010 Issue

Mark Wunderlich: Wolf Spider and Sleep Paralysis

Three nights in succession, the earth has pulled dawn

to the chapel, the first light-smear like a thorax split,

blood-arc, sky a matrix of bone. Graves shimmer

like quartz on the hill, where loam craves

strong spring rain.

The chapel’s windows, toothed and gleaming. No one

knows why the yard’s trees hiss hymns. No one knows

how the spiders, deep in hydrangea, seal behind

them calipers of space, stitch gossamer

bloom to bloom.

Thus the heart moves to a warmer room, attuned

to April trees. Thus the bee is caught in clouds

of filament, wrapped, gored, and eaten.

No matter: the leaf still increases

in the eaves.

The storm grows, spiders scatter, and bent grass

acquiesces to summer. When thunder riots

foliage, rattles the panes, holy relics gleam

blue on the altar. The night will always

swagger forth and fall.

WILLIAM WRIGHT is the author of the full-length poetry collection, Dark Orchard, winner of the 2005 Breakthrough Poetry Prize and published by Texas Review Press. His chapbook, The Ghost Narratives, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2008. Wright’s poetry has recently been published or is forthcoming in Midwest Quarterly, Tar River Poetry, North American Review, AGNI, Colorado Review, Indiana Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Southern Poetry Review, and Texas Review, among other literary journals. Wright is co-editor with the late Stephen Gardner of the ongoing Southern Poetry Anthology, the second volume - focusing on Mississippi poets - due in the next few months from Texas Review Press. The first volume, centering on poets of South Carolina, was released in 2008. More from this issue >