Plain China

Hollow Ground

by Dylan Hopper · College of Charleston
Lagomorph Greetings, Natasha Chang · University of Iowa

Everyonehere has a scarecrow

smile, dried up and useless as the land.

Makes my skin prickle, how these dead

stalks like to hiss at closed windows.

Bent and forked like devils’ tails, they scratch

this hot itch behind my eyelids. Brand me

with blistered hands. I know southwest

summers, that writhing sort of unbearable

just between those familiar places,

the post office and the farm.

 

A stranger follows, and I tremble. Terrible

always happens here- the sour dirt

under his fingernails claws me

raw. My voice evaporates, a choke stirs

the scorched earth beneath my naked

skin. I think of the pig running

over hot coals at last year’s barbecue,

the sound of its fat flesh

being ripped open, nice and slow.

There’s a coyote’s skull decaying

beside my head: bone unholy white,

the meat around its teeth a withered brown.

I gaze into its gaping eyes and wonder,

if I give you my ear, will I finally hear the ocean?

About the Author

Dylan Hopper · College of Charleston

Dylan Hopper is a recent graduate from the College of Charleston with a B.A. in English Literature and a double minor in Psychology and Film Studies. Her poems have been published in the national undergraduate journal, Miscellany. Sheheld the positions of Assistant Editor and Editor-In-Chief of her college’s literary magazine, and continues to be an avid supporter of aspiring writers. 

About the Artist

Natasha Chang · University of Iowa

Natasha Chang's undergraduate artwork has been published in several issues of earthwords. She graduated from the University of Iowa in 2016 and is now a first year optometry student at the University of Missouri St. Louis, where she draws neural pathways for school and skulls for fun. "Lagomorph Greetings" first appeared in earthwords.