By: Amanda Stovicek
We light fires and hang ropes around
ancient elms in hopes of self-discovery.
Tell us how we are supposed to be, pressing
our palms together and shedding light
like broken fireflies in a jar. Tell us
we are kindling. We drag coffins out
of the hills and line them with wheat
and seashells. We mark the channels
beneath our faces as holy. We swim in the litter.
Tell us we cannot be angels, spiny or moth-winged.
Tell us we become flowers instead, pressed
in someone’s good book. Lay us in the ground
where all our pauses whisper. When you look back
between the pages, you’ll see what we leave behind.
Dark star on the horizon—no light seeping into sky’s flat-line
slope of earth pricking horizon like an index
finger bleeding into water, pooling night, no light. Black hole
growing wider, a slowly growing mouth abyssal
ocean sky—no sun—no ozone—wider still like a mouth
swallowing little blue pill-planet, little dot. Only you
know how we got here slow and deliberate, like creation turning
to ash—no phoenix—inevitable tumbling. Like the sun
braiding her core with the night, like the sun braiding her core
with iron and cold, cold blue, we become shadow.
Amanda Stovicek is a poet from Northeast Ohio made of star stuff. Her work has appeared in 45th Parallel, Ghost City Review, POTLUCK Magazine, and elsewhere. You can find her at amstovicek.com or on Twitter @amae099.