|Chagrin River Review||
Soul and silence. Blood and cloth.
Meat beneath the knife. The stone
the knife was hewn from, heaved
into the ocean and sunk past sight.
When she says she wants to hover
underwater in the tub until the sun
sucks up the earth and the bath salts
mummify her dark-stubbled skin,
you’ll want to call her crazy. Don’t.
Instead, call her the stop motion
scattering of a mandala’s sands.
Stinging nettle sundae, bone jalopy,
pocket full of eggs. A single egg smacked
into a seasoned pan, turning hard
and yellow as the timer snaps onward.
Last one in. Odd one out. Outer ring
of a frosted planet, formed by the dust
that meteorites knock from dead
winter rock. Eye to the sky. Eye turned
back in the head, regarding the sweet
weeping rind of the brain. Little lentil
buried in a steaming king’s cake.
When daughters die, it is their names
and not bluebottles that rumba across
the caving stomachs and chew their spleens
down to the pulp. So call your daughter
dissolution, tail-swallowing snake, but
do not fail to call her something
lest she calcify. At last resort,
name her the wordless, terrifying
scream of a barking owl after the stars
have replaced porch lights. It means hunger
and fortune to those with slipshod hearts.
Anna Kelley is pursuing an MFA in poetry at Syracuse University. She is a reader for Salt Hill. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Cherry Tree, Literary Orphans, Up the Staircase Quarterly, Split Lip Magazine, CICADA, and others