Grey Partridge – Aaron Dargis (Editors’ Choice)

Livia, the first empress of Rome, incubated
a single perdix perdix between her breasts,
24 days– I’m having mine roasted with chokecherries
and washing it down with a bottle of Viognier.

I’m waiting on a friend to phone from Paris.
She went out to Normandy countryside
to explain the scent of lavender when it rains.

She said the wind was relentless, contrast of green–
hills and grey sky. Her lips were chapped terribly
from it all. I think back, my memory, my past becoming
more like a tunnel; frightening how narrow the other side is.

Once the alfalfa has been reaped perdix perdix
hunker until you’ve stepped upon the covey
only to cut against the gust over the next bow in ground.

I hold the phone and am hit with the scent of lavender,
damp moss, pine-sap and ash.

Aaron DargisAaron Dargis grew up in Michigan and now lives in the Piedmont area of South Carolina. He is currently an MFA student at Converse College and Poetry Co-Editor for South85 Magazine.