paper • 96 pages • 15.95
ISBN-13: 978-1-935536-26-0

Why The Ships Are She

Terri Ford


It is 1974 and out the institutional open windows
of the college dorm, nylon bikinis in floral prints
are plummeting like the cheap bodies of birds. And then

your mother’s large white briefs like a mainsail, like
a flag of surrender, begin a slow dancing down current,
cinematic, lithe. All of the faces
are turning up, hushed, like those
holding a hoop to save a child burning. It is the opposite

of being lifted into the sky
the way I imagined my grandfather ascending
after the long pain of illness: this large pair of underpants
falling forever on the startled face
of an undergraduate boy.

For Paula Snow

Praise by Andrew Hudgins
Praise by Cynthia Huntington
Praise by William D. Waltz

“. . . Why The Ships Are She is an intellectual and emotional thrill ride and I enjoyed every minute of it.” —Andrew Hudgins

“. . . Here is a poetry of exuberant surprise, disaster and dark wit, of precision fueled by desire. She has an ear so finely attuned to speech rhythms that the words want to leave the page and meet the reader in midair . . .” —Cynthia Huntington

“Terri Ford is changing the order of things. Terri Ford is building a world . . . Terri Ford changes us. She triumphs.” —William D. Waltz