Mainland by Derek Thomas Dew


She’ll cut off all her hair the day they blow the dam.

The boy at church told her some trees don’t collect water with their roots.

At midnight in the canyon she was in her little bra trying to dance for him.

Before they could kiss, a cow went into labor and screamed and the boy ran.

A dam of cattails. A dam ten thousand feet high.

Swim like a baby, he said. It will be a holiday.

All the boy has done will be the bottom of a lake in the V of his arms.

First there was only the candle’s flame crawling the bathwater.

Then, traveling the rim of the tub, a light like the one atop his jeep.

It’s really just a big wall and when we finish it, we’ll be given a new shirt.

Derek Thomas Dew
Derek Thomas Dew

Derek Thomas Dew's work has appeared in The Curator, Hawaii Pacific Review, Dead and Undead Poems: Zombies, Ghosts, Vampires and Devils (Everyman Press), Not a Drop and Noble Dissent (Beautiful Dragons Press). He was awarded a 2017 Omnidawn workshop scholarship, and his manuscript Almond Psalm was a semi-finalist for the Word Works Washington Prize and the Brittingham Prize.