One day my hole saw your hole and we fell through each other by naming them: one day our holes called each other doubtlessly sayable things. My hole: finch; your hole: gold woven out of dirt that the finch puts its beak to, as boundaries do when we are closed by a more comfortable context. It is context that finally frees us enough to append our silence, a dark no longer dark because we hold its palpable ecstasy. I begin my list: tomcat with feet flexed in a seizure of pleasure, belly chasing sun; hen rescued from a truck jumping against the heft of her body for a crust of bread; brother plucking sorrow from my lap like peonies. No one wants stories about fits of nostalgia, mothers, birds that call with the sun in their mouths. No one gives a shit about your brother even if he’s blitzing through the binding of the same lost father. Instead of flowers we sate ourselves by uninventing our ancestry, more powerful than a surname, all of these failed translations that feed my mind and not my heart. The tom was cold when I touched my face to his fur; my brother is marrying a woman I have never spoken to, and yet this urge is here to name things which I am not: hen’s wing ripped off by a dog, mother burning my childhood on a pyre, childhood expunged from my body like a struggling sack of sugar.
Sara Henning is the author of the full-length collection of poetry A Sweeter Water (2013), as well as a chapbook, To Speak of Dahlias (2012). Her poetry, fiction, interviews and book reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in such journals as Willow Springs, Bombay Gin and the Crab Orchard Review. Currently a doctoral student in English and Creative Writing at the University of South Dakota, she serves as Managing Editor for The South Dakota Review.
This week’s Wardrobe Best Dressed was selected by Erin Elizabeth Smith. Smith is the Creative Director at the Sundress Academy for the Arts and the author of two full-length collections, The Fear of Being Found (Three Candles Press 2008) and The Naming of Strays (Gold Wake Press 2011). Her poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Mid-American, 32 Poems, Zone 3, Gargoyle, Tusculum Review, and Crab Orchard Review. She teaches a bit of everything in the English Department at the University of Tennessee and serves as the managing editor of Sundress Publications and Stirring.