O'Clock Press No. 13

In Dirt or Saltwater

Desiree C. Bailey


44 pages
6.5" x 8.5"

cover photograph by Rachel Eliza Griffiths
back cover photograph by A. H. Jerriod Avant

Edition of 130


From In Dirt or Saltwater:

There’s a thing like hair knotted against the walls of my stomach. Something’s forever changed. A piece of the sky has fallen away, and all the silt and muck trickles through, stuffing itself thick into my throat, down down to mix with the hair. My father is dying. Been dying every day. In lives before this, before gold and bark of cinnamon, before shadow of wingspan cloaking a field. In dirt or saltwater, in a wreck where he was the ship, both overthrown and sunk down, to be with pitchfork and bone, in oil, in a river with parsley on his tongue. Marked. Through hours and centuries. A festered foot dragged against a shore. In concrete. In mold. Against stained wall. In silk and soot. Oh holy eucalyptus and sage. Oh hymn for the dying. How many refrains? Oh burning root and building, storefront of shattered glass. On asphalt and sprig of flame. How to count and keep?