hooked through – poems – Sara Moore Wagner

hooked through
poems by Sara Moore Wagner
Five Oaks Press, 2017

to not die is what I mean. – {from} I Have No Love For Images


It was snowing. My teeth had vanished. I held this, hooked through, by Sara Moore Wagner. I read it then

and heard it when it said that death won’t keep still

and believed it when it suggested that maybe a school of fish is the tattooed decoy of pain’s removal

and I prayed humanly when its verse prodded objectification to give gulf its weight in animal.

Wagner is a poet who brings to her language the gift of both legend and locality. Instead of gutting one story to stomach another, she foregoes image worship and rewrites the ghosted psalm.


When we die, someone might
notice our grave and stare out
into the vastness – {from} Cattleheart Complex or Rebirth


reflection by Barton Smock


book is here:
Hooked Through–Sara Wagner

person Sara Moore Wagner, three poems

Sara Moore Wagner is the author of the chapbook Hooked Through (Five Oaks Press, 2017). Her poetry has appeared in many journals and anthologies including Gulf Stream, Gigantic Sequins,The Pittsburgh Poetry Review, and Arsenic Lobster, among others. She has been nominated for a Pushcart prize, and was a finalist for the 2018 Edna St Vincent Millay Poetry Prize. Find her at http://www.saramoorewagner.com



The rain spills in on us as we sleep
in the backyard, tented. My brother wakes
with a face cotton-soft, button-eyed, cuts
into me as our grandmother
does the most bruised tomatoes.
Says run, but we wait:
sloshing, mermaiding, our hair
and the flowers, the candy
wrappers flood into the yard,
vine. When our father opens
the trailer door he is naked,
his eyes rusted, and we are so wet.
When our father opens
the door he is naked
and will not let us in:
A heavy sigh from the heavy
bed. An uneasy dryness like light.
I remember emptiness, the look of skin,
and so much pillowing rain. My brother, still
a face: The only.



Grown to the peach
you can in the dark
hours of the morning, white
light from the ceiling, white
specks in the corner
of your eyes. Grandmother,
you are preserving this
ripe moment, and me,
as if I were still
that girl, you know
the one—today I asked
God for something
so sweet, to kiss you
as a moth does, to not leave
such a mark on the heart.
I spend these nights syrupping,
unready to fall. Let me be
harvested full in this heavy
kitchen, the sagging shelves
just strong enough
to keep me.



I pretend
I don’t remember
ever doing this before
and maybe it comes
true in some section
of my body, like
the underside of
the left third rib,
the Eve one. I shake
my head, no
and the motion
is itself a birth, a pink
child trembling out
into the open silence. Look
at it there, shivering
and sexless as every
single day.