A Poem from Oklahoma

August 30, 2017

Bury Me

tell me
            wet limestone
            flinching coral reefs 

what’s it like to always
be night 

                                    tell me 

what is it to be rooted in shadow
            to speak without the screams
                                                of bright 

                                    what is it
            to not even ask for much

I had been escaping into the high castles
            you’ve built

            and my spirit was distracted by
craving and craving until
                                    higher and higher 

            I couldn’t see the sky past
                                    this pleasure dome 

            but I thought there could be
better treasures embedded 

            so eventually I ask you
                        to bury me

            you play along and find that
covering my toes and tummy
is calming

            but coaxing my gold stone free
                        wouldn’t be easy 

                        so just tell the elements
            to brush past me 

            tell the vine of forest
                        tell the root of swamp 

                        I want this to stop

with all these voices up here
            it’s getting hard to hear

                        so don’t tell me
                                    bury me 

there’s an entire world under the surface

            where crabs fold their poverty
                        into each lip of sand

pointing to the earth as witness
                        bury me        I say 
            all the way

A former adjunct professor at the University of Tulsa, Victoria McArtor (victoriamcartor.com) holds an MFA from Oklahoma State University, is a luxury residential mortgage loan officer, and co-founded MUSED. Organization, a poetry and collaborative arts nonprofit in Oklahoma and California. Her book of poems, Reverse Selfie, is coming soon.