AM Ringwalt

1 poem

While water flowed beneath the bridge


While water flowed beneath the bridge
While pearly dewdrops blazed to stars


There was my body, mute
Months beneath you 

There was a moth, heart-stutterer
Voice pulled from Midwestern sky 

My heart forgot to feed
Its body, moth, blood-weeping bloom 


Angel of glass, I shaved my head
To singe upon Lake Michigan 

Kind thunder, ask me where I am
Kind thunder what I’m hungry for 


Ghosts of bodies on my flesh
(What, full, will fester there?) 

This self, displaced lakeblood
(What roses abound underwater?) 

Full fester: a single rose blooms
Full fever in algae-choked room 


Riding in my jaguar
Riding in feline gut 

Riding in blood-cape
Beside the Charles River 

Until I’m in the lake, until I’m Midwest— 
It’s all water under the bridge 

Spiraling light from one side of land to the other
Viscera projections  in terrain-collapse

Where are you?

I conjure a hallucinatory country 

Summon these men upon my shoulders / let them speak like doves 

Until I hold this land is your land
Witness into blood 


When it hurts still I remember
My baby brother chewing a grilled cheese sandwich
Into the shape of a gun 

There was a voice I braided:
Song of Solomon through my hair 


Riding in my jaguar
Riding in my Pegasus 

Am I too young, am I 

A deck of cards with angels for each day:
Angel of Wednesday, ash in the brain
Angel, O, with mouth-lodged candle
Angel, O, candlewax out my ears 

Your water: a bridge self-defeating
For my angel / my shoulders on fire 


Full throttle, fire throat 

I was sixteen
While sedative, fever dream
While forehead bruised from concrete wall 

I let my hair grow
I let my skin smooth
Wore my mom’s pants 

And a pink bra
And a sunburn
My thighs’ stretch 


Angel of Wednesday or Ash— 

Had no car to drive
Carved mammal
Had no car to drive
Through xanax snow 

Had no car to drive, no matter
Tap dancing in a pasture alone 


This bloodied limb
This love-make 

Imaginary freeway

Twenty-two years to unlearn my flesh 
I said no in blackout

Kind thunder, ask— 
Who speaks through celestial gut? 


I said no in my jaguar

No water under the bridge 

AM Ringwalt is a writer and musician. The recipient of the 2019 Sparks Prize at the University of Notre Dame’s MFA in Poetry, her words most recently appeared or are forthcoming in Bennington Review, The Kenyon Review and Queen Mob’s Teahouse. Her MFA thesis, “What Floods,” was a finalist for Essay Press’ 2018 book prize, and was longlisted for Tarpaulin Sky's 2019 book award.