Mushrooms in a Tennessee Graveyard
Gregory Emilio

Mushrooms in a Tennessee Graveyard

For a moment, I’m tempted to believe
that the pumpkin-colored constellations
of chanterelles blossomed above a grave
possess in their ribbed, wavering tunics
and scalloped ridges, in their apricot scent,
some mineral trace of the long-gone bodies
below them, some fecund, far-off echo—
a little human afterlife in the spores.

After a hard rain, anything remains
possible, even the moist, cricketed idea
of the divine, a bright fungal miracle.
Elizabeth Anne Riley’s bone-dust rising
up delicious, in spangled profusion—
an offering to eat, if not believe.

Gregory Emilio

has recent work in Best New Poets, Crab Orchard Review, F(r)iction, Nashville Review, The Southeast Review, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and Valparaiso Poetry Review. He is the nonfiction editor at New South and a PhD candidate in English at Georgia State University in Atlanta.