after Margaret Atwood
She’s not my earth
if not twice frozen
my space of nesting.
My holy skin is stainless
stretched over my hands
open to her fresh seabed air.
To get over her I drowned avocado hearts
in foaming American beer poured gloaming from the cans
and whispered secrets to the graves of bees.
Her perfume was in defiance of life
torn away from the one pearl in the oyster
or crowded dinner parties.
I remember her creekbed unteeming without its patient goldfish
set free by the locals or else seagulls breaking flesh upon the rocks
crawling across her idleness and open hell in contradiction of the flawless winds.
Once a woman trusts evil
her plane sinks on the open sea.
Her sky’s not blue without the corpse flowers, it’s stale, in contradiction of blood
or destroyed there beneath her refuge, concealing the solid rock on which she stands
concrete blocks crushed hard to gravel, without pepper pain or white-washed cold.
Upon her insistence, I dug up my mothers out of gutters
uncovered them outside in the open air
where it is harsh but unlike nakedness.
Holly Lyn Walrath’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Strange Horizons, The Fem, and The Vestal Review, among others. She is a freelance editor, contract editor with Writership, and volunteer with Writespace, a nonprofit literary center in Houston, Texas. She currently resides in Seabrook, Texas. Find her online @HollyLynWalrath or www.hlwalrath.com.