National Poetry Month Spotlight: Amelia Martens

Welcome to National Poetry Month, 2016! We’re celebrating all month long. Each day we will bring you a poem we love–a selection from one of our published or forthcoming collections.

Today’s featured poet is Amelia Martensauthor of Purgatory.

Purgatory by Amelia Martens

The dog needs to go out, and it’s always your turn to take him. You can see your breath and the grass cracks where he leads you. In your mind you see a sunroom, floor to ceiling windows and white wicker chairs with sea-striped cushions. There’s a punch colored drink, with a blue umbrella, and a circle of pineapple hooked over the rim. Last night when you dreamed that you knocked your ex’s tooth out, the tooth doesn’t have the same meaning, you decide, as when you put your hand to your own made up mouth and spit out a bloody baby tooth. It’s not about being self-conscious. It’s about pride and the height of a chain link fence, just right to snag you under the armpit as the dog presses his body between the squares and tears tendons in the sky.

IMG_6972Amelia Martens received a MFA in Creative Writing and a MS in Literacy, Culture, and Language Education from Indiana University. She works part-time for West Kentucky Community & Technical Col­lege where she helps to edit Exit 7: A Journal of Literature and Art. Her debut poetry collection, The Spoons in the Grass are There to Dig a Moat, is out this month from Sarabande Books. She is also the author of three chapbooks: Purgatory (Black Lawrence Press, 2012), Clatter (Floating Wolf Quarterly, 2013) and A Series of Faults (Finishing Line Press, 2014).