The doctor asks, were you blue as death

or infancy? Metal on flame

 

and bearing it or mad, embracing it,

I say. Without praise.

 

The water where I swam as a child

tricked the heart. Pebbles

 

masqueraded as a shore, piled right

to where the crags muscled

 

like gods out of the waves. Can hunger

keep me alive? I say. No

 

he laughs. Assumptions. Who speaks

that way. Tell me,

 

are you Eve or Mary? A riddle cries

from my fingers that turn

 

blue from white, where arteries

refuse life. Assumptions,

 

I play, as if I understand him and his

tested theories. What’s the difference

 

between divinity and disgrace?


Sophia Galifianakis teaches at the University of Michigan, where she received her MFA in poetry. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in The Greensboro Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Spillway, and Mezzo Cammin.