Sleetmagazine.com

Volume 12 • Number 2 • Fall - Winter 2020

Pamela Sumners

Williamson, Tennessee

Because Williamson, Tennessee reported its first coronavirus case
I fly to Tennessee Williams’ 1936 Corona Jr. model, seeing him
hunched over, fingers furious, flying over St. Louis, Memphis,
New Orleans, pounding his feet to catch the trolleys and streetcars
long before he patented the imprint of death and resurrection he
called “Desire,” singing out in the street: corones para los muertes
and calling too flores para los muertos, leaving it to us to puzzle
whether these are wreaths for the doomed or halos of the ascendant,
crown of victory, augury of rot. All we know is something illicit
occurred. There is no virgin birth here, Blanche is escorted by some
gentlemen callers off to the madhouse as Stella’s baby issues birth-cries.

What neurotic transcendence, what fortunate fall, what arrogance to
catch a streetcar, to look at the baby, in the bold death-stare of day?

Pamela Sumners’ work has been published or recognized by over 30 journals or publishing houses in the US and abroad in 2018-20. She was a 2018 Pushcart anthology nominee and was selected by Halcyone/Black Mountain Press for inclusion in 64 Best Poets of 2018 and 2019. Her first chapbook, Finding Helen, a winner in the Rane Arroyo Series of Seven Kitchens Press, will be published in summer 2020. Her first full collection, Ragpicking Ezekiel’s Bones, is forthcoming from UnCollected Press in fall 2020. Sumners is well known for her constitutional and civil rights legal work, including cases opposing Jay Sekulow, Ten Commandments Judge Roy Moore, Supreme Court wannabe Bill Pryor, and an Alabama governor who argued that the Bill of Rights doesn’t apply to Alabama. She now lives in St. Louis with her wife, son, and rescue dogs.