OXIDANT | ENGINE : Issue 6
I'm bound to marry the hayseed,
dishwater blond and brought up
among marsh birds, thin as reeds.
We'll go to Vermont, because it's
legal. Because you're milk soap white.
Because it's almost un-American.
I'll be like a dead thing, I will,
and I'll make you cry, slap you
with bedding, other you
down to the scent of eraser.
Disgusting bird, I'll go down.
Frond of fern, I promise.
I found her wrapped in my bed sheets—
butcher’s meat neat in brown paper,
so tight she couldn’t breathe.
If she hadn’t been so small,
I might have found her in time.
She might not have been open-eyed
and stone when I pulled her like a lost sock
from between bed and wall. She fit
in my palm. Size of a robin’s egg
and as blue, a loose bead,
I could have held a dozen of her without spilling.
I tucked her into a box of kitchen matches,
slid it shut. Dropped her down, unfolded
my stiff fingers.
My mouth, roadside attraction of a cave,
is cold as basements, damp as what will rot,
and does open, given permission. Will not,
in fact, close. The self—looped and cordoned off
as cursive—drips, too, stalactite-violent. Wants
for allowance. Grows slowly, but grows. My refusal
stretches back to the old yard, old ghost dog. Leave it.
Katherine Fallon holds degrees from Bryn Mawr College and Sarah Lawrence College, and her work has appeared in GERM, Snake Nation Review, REAL, Cleaver, Finery, and Sink Review. She writes for Connect Statesboro and is a Lecturer in the Department of Writing & Linguistics at Georgia Southern University. Her chapbook, The Toothmakers' Daughters, will be released in November and is currently available for pre-order through Finishing Line Press.