Ruination Atlas | Sarah Pape

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Sarah Pape teaches English and works as the Managing Editor of Watershed Review at Chico State. Her poetry and prose has recently been published in:Passages North, Ecotone, Crab Orchard Review, Bluestem, The Pinch, Smartish Pace, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and others. She curates community literary programming and is a member of the Quoin Collective, a local letterpress group. Check out her website for more:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

 Ruination Atlas

A shock of marigold nestles in the hull of a toilet bowl,

men on boy bikes, corrugated shelters sag with gravel,

two filthy shepherds, fur mudridden and obscured

behind chain link, pace against the curve of road.

I am a daughter of this terminal pastoral, camel hide hills

turned black with lightning. At the benefit potluck,

an EMT tells me she knows the south side of my hometown.

And about a woman, bedridden in a room full of people

where none knew her name. Each held a different kind

of animal, gnashing the brine air. My beloved childhood

paraphernalia. A born-in geography, suicide plateau.