Before Sweat Had a Name – Katherine Hoerth

she worked the garden tirelessly for days,
breathless, pulling weeds with naked hands,
planting her desires, and letting sunrays
kiss her skin. She followed the demands
of her thirst while trimming back the veils
of brush. Her muscles bloomed like daffodils.
Half-moons of earth waxed underneath her nails
as she tended to the rolling hills

of paradise. One afternoon, a river
eddied down her back, her body baptized
in the salt of earth, the lucent shimmer
slicked across her skin and crystalized.
Draped in a gown of stars, her muscles sore,
she’d never felt so beautiful before.

Katherine HoerthKatherine Hoerth is the author of three poetry collections, including Goddess Wears Cowboy Boots, which won the Helen C. Smith Prize for the best book of poetry in Texas in 2015. She is an Assistant Professor of English at Lamar University and serves as Editor-in-Chief of Lamar University Literary Press.