RECENT POETRY PUBLICATIONS
Theme Issue: Blood
call her name
I Pretend I'm a Long-Distance Jumper
Featured in Issue 7 Winter 2022
After Selling Your Lake House
Featured in the Fall Issue, 2021
& 2022 Print Edition
Someday I Will Love Merna Louise Featured in Issue 28 - Summer / Fall 2022
Someday I Will Love Merna Louise
After Susan Rich
When nearsighted eyes fool her
footsteps—and tumbles turn her
early childhood days into skinned
knees and face-first falls onto sidewalks
chalked with hopscotch forms, and
scattered stones—this gangly girl,
captured for a moment, stands
beside the blue family Buick, posing
defiantly—fists on hips, ragtag dress
hitched up—curled tongue sticking out
from her frowning lips—her response
to her photographer father, whenever
he orders her to smile.
So, when does she begin to bite her tongue,
bury it deep in the well of her mouth?
Is it when she’s caught rolling up
her below-the-knee skirt to mid-thigh height
as she walks to middle school one morning?
Is her mother the first in a long queue
of adults who school her on the rules
and restrictions of good-girl dictums?
After braces and finishing school,
she walks in teen fashion shows,
learns to turn her head just so—beguilingly
tossing her hair, smiling on cue
for the photographer. To relax her
clenched fingers, he teaches her to shake
her wrists as if air-drying wet hands.
His trick works long enough for the shot.
As she walks off set, she sucks in her cheeks,
curls her tongue, tight inside her mouth—