Long Marriage: Lake

Doug Ramspeck

We hear them—
the years—in the trees,
the soundsof the leaves
like a flutteringin the throat,
some circuitryof breaths
thinning intothe surface of a lake.
Or someone cutsthe stem and places
another decadein a vase.
Or a shoe liftsand out the pebbles
fall. Then slowlyeach new hour
undoes the hookfrom the eye,
and we dreamof being
young againand swimming
in deep waters,out to where
the curvatureof land
gives way—the lip of the world
liminal and strange,the clouds unknowable
amid indentured light.Or we dream
we are sinkingdown to where
the rocks are slipperyto the touch,
where we floatsurrounded by such
a faint coronathat we can’t decide
which wewe are,
from when.

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Doug Ramspeck is the author of six poetry collections and one collection of short stories. His most recent book, Black Flowers, is forthcoming from LSU Press. Four of his books have received awards: The Owl That Carries Us Away (G. S. Sharat Chanda Prize for Short Fiction), Original Bodies (Michael Waters Poetry Prize), Mechanical Fireflies (Barrow Street Press Poetry Prize), and Black Tupelo Country (John Ciardi Prize for Poetry). He lives in Lima, Ohio.

The Greensboro Review

Spring 2018

Greensboro, North Carolina

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Terry L. Kennedy

Associate Editor
Jessie Van Rheenen

Managing Editor
Emily Morris

Poetry Editor
Michael Pittard

Associate Editor
Jabar Boykin

For more than fifty years, the MFA Writing Program at UNC Greensboro has published The Greensboro Review. The journal began in 1966, when students in the first years of the MFA wanted a place to publish their creative work. With $500 from the Chancellor—“an amount that hardly covered the cost of printing 500 copies,” according to Robert Watson, poet and co-founder of the MFA program—students and faculty used the campus duplicating shop to print the debut issue, then collated it by hand. Greensboro painter Betty Watson designed the logo that is still in use today.

The mission of the journal quickly shifted from “a house organ for our MFA students,” and the Review began to publish writers like Ezra Pound and Joyce Carol Oates. But as longtime editor Jim Clark described, “the GR has always taken the most joy in publishing work by new writers at the beginning of their careers, and we are proud to include in this group such writers as Lewis Nordan, Yusef Komunyakaa, William Matthews, Alan Shapiro, Charles Simic, and Dave Smith.” In 1984, the GR established its Literary Awards thanks to an anonymous donor, and these prizes led to a more global following. Works from the journal are consistently included in the Pushcart Prize anthologies, Best American Short Stories, the O. Henry Awards, New Stories from the South, and other collections honoring the finest writing by both established and emerging voices.

Today, the GR continues to be faculty- and student-run, and our editors regularly showcase writers whose work may be risk-taking or overlooked.

As of 2019, the journal is proud to partner with the University of North Carolina Press for publishing and distribution.

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