ON NIGHTS WHEN I AM MOTHERLESS

 

Through the limbs of an ash
tree, ash filters, reminds me
of the nights we watched the storm
from the front door,
your cigarette smoke
blown through the screen.

Tonight, the mutt’s holler rolls
over the hills like a tongue
over unbrushed teeth.

A wolf spider spins a gossamer
hammock, carries her young
on her back, eats them.
The moon un-
hinges from its socket—.

Still, your silhouette shrinks
in the sky-stone’s sheen.
Still, the petals of the crocus close,
unable to wake ‘til morning.

 

SHELL

Drape me in that palm’s shade,
I’m a flesh-sack
with no map to my organs.

Do you know where I left
that blood-pumping fist that fits
beneath my ribs?

I think I lost it in your apartment
last year, after I smashed
the television with your mother’s

vintage lamp.
See that rotting rush of fence?
That’s me—faded, incomplete.

The doctor says these pills
will sanitize my cerebrum,
untwist my tongue.

Is one pill per day enough
to remind me of the woman I was—
folded hands, pressed dress,

lips locked tight like a rosebud?
As if a pill could remind
me of the woman I was!

A cow carcass roadside
is a shell.
I’m glass shattered,

mosaic me into something
beautiful, inhuman—
a droppèd

nightgown on hardwood.
An afternoon’s ripe hue,
the apse of a child’s elbow.

 


Sarah Escue is a creative writing student at the University of South Florida. She works as the Assistant Editor at The Adirondack Review and editorial intern Saw Palm: Florida Literature and Art. Her work has been published in Milk Journal.

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