C.N.P Poetry 

  • Cathexis Northwest Press

Periphery

By: Emily Patterson


Remember when we pried open oysters by the blue water, white wine in paper cups? We had been married seven years then. We pulled olive bread to pieces and talked about kids. We were kids. It was somewhere off Highway One, California grass wild and dry, sky as blue as the water, almost monochromatic. Beside the shore, the worn path reminded me of others: narrow boards in the Wicklow hills, desert gravel in Nevada. So many landscapes with you in my periphery, with me in yours. I took a hollowed oyster, its two shells both separate and bound, and traced a finger across its backs, risen like miniature mountains.


Emily Patterson is an editor and writer in Columbus, Ohio. She studied English and Music at Ohio Wesleyan University, and is currently pursuing an MA in Education at The Ohio State University. Her work has appeared in Spry Literary Journal and Harness Magazine. “Place is often the conceptual starting point for my poems. I draw from the imagery of new places as a catalyst for new kinds of seeing. "Periphery" was inspired by the Northern California coast, Nevada desert, and Irish countryside. The poem is about experiencing place as self, as well as alongside someone else. I wanted to juxtapose the constancy of presence and companionship against the continual shift and evolution of landscape, seeing, and self.”

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